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Knuckle Sandwich | Bootlegger's Brewery

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Knuckle SandwichKnuckle Sandwich

Brewed by:
Bootlegger's Brewery
California, United States

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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 257 | Ratings: 1,081
Photo of jdaddy
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Rating is based upon average of bottles versus draft. Would certainly rate this on draft at 4.75 however the bottles received at the brewery were noticeably less impressive. Don't get me wrong, still a wonderful IIPA. No dates on the bottles however understanding they sell out of Knuckle Sandwich every few days, I assume they are fresh.

The draft at the brewery was more hop forward with a substantial malt base. With the bottle I find the hops to be less present with the malt still there. The good news is the heavier malt in both the draft and bottle product is pleasing.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasting notes from 2/4/11.
Thanks to Ultraman9000 for this one.
Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Medium amber colour with one finger of thick & bubbly off-white head that stuck around for a while. Translucent. Appears filtered.

S - Citrus hops hit the nose at first - grapefruit and tangerine - followed by a sweet caramel malt backbone.

T - Citrus and piney hops and a sweet caramel malt backbone. Very bitter, especially in the finish but overall a well balanced DIPA.

M - Medium body, chewy. Lightly carbonated.

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Photo of Dspohn
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. Bomber for $7.99, into a tulip. I was told this bottle was very fresh but I dont believe there's any bottle dating info. It was delicious regardless.

It's really a great looking beer, bright red/orange with a good sized peach-tinged white head. Left lots of nice lacing, especially on the second pour. The aroma is intense, I could easily smell it from a few feet away right after it was poured. I'd say the smell is a touch better than the taste, but both are full of tropical fruits, pineapple, papaya and peach are are all pretty prominent. Not super heavy on bitterness or pine aspects, definitely what I'd consider to be more of a juicy, sweet IPA. Carbonation is right where it should be and the drinkability is off the chart with little evidence of alcohol. Pretty impressive for a 10% beer, I would've guessed it was around 7.5%. Comparable in flavor profile to Sculpin, Just Outstanding, or Summer Yulesmith, so check this beer out if you like those IPAs. One of the better IPAs I've tried recently, I really wish it was available locally but at least the brewery is only a few hours away.

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Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Half pint on tap at the brewery. This provided a much needed dose of lupulin after The Bruery's barrel tasting.

The beer is a darkish amber with a thin white head. Clarity is quite good.

The aroma is awesome. Huge resiny, sappy, evergreen goodness. A touch of dry biscuity malt, some candied grapefruit. More on the dry side, but there's a touch of sweet fruitiness.

It's light on the tongue, but massive in flavor. There's a lot of candied grapefruit and resiny pine. Some sugary sweetness too, but just a touch - this is far from being a malty DIPA. Strong but clean bitterness in the finish. This is a fantastic beer that I wish I could have enjoyed more of.

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Photo of Joshpu
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Darker orange, looks similar to a peach color.

S: Smells like heaven... smells like peach and grapefruit, hoppy

T: Tastes nearly like heaven, at the front getting grapefruit and peach and hops, followed by a malty taste.

M: Mouthfeel is great, the malts and grapefruit linger, along with the peach, i could taste this all day long...

Overall: Amazing beer, the alcohol is pretty much completely masked.

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Photo of BrewtifulMind
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of kevanb
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a bottle of this into a tulip glass.

A: Really interesting color, very dark amber with lots of deep red colors involved, a bit off the beaten path which I quite like. The head on this baby is really impressive, nice frothy texture, ivory color with hints of caramel undertones where the head and the beer collide. Lovely lacing on the glass.

S: This smell amazing. Lots of fruit up front with the nice hoppy aromas on the back end balanced with the subtle scent of grain. Really really intriguing and inviting nose.

T: Nothing short of spectacular here, really lovely fruit, notable citrus but also some tart fruits like apples or berries come through with a really powerful hop flavor. This is balanced with some sweet malts at the end for a really complex taste, but one that is balanced and has me asking for more more more.

M: Nice and crisp with good bubbles, but also smooth and inviting.

O: This is really top notch, I heard that they don't brew too much of this anymore which is a real shame because it is truly a world class beer. I tend to drink a lot on the hoppy side and this is without a doubt, one of the best IPAs or DIPAs I've had in a long time.

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Photo of johndoe8
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

hope it's not a cop out going 4.5 down the line. this beer is pretty damn good. the hops fade pretty quickly, so if it's more than a couple weeks old, it's definitely a different experience than having it fresh.

i've had it from tap and bottle, but bottle most recently, and the grassy notes have subsided slightly (the bottle being 2 weeks old).

otherwise, this is a great DIPA. it hides the abv EXTRemELy well. It has a nice balanced malt backbone, which you only find from some really good DIPAs (think expo hoppiness or pliny the younger).

it loses slightly to my other all time favorite dipas (expo and pty), b/c the hops are not as strong as those, but it's definitely some good company to be in.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 22oz bottle thanks to t0rin0. Greatly appreciated Bobby! Served in a pilsner glass.

A - Pours with a generous amount of orange-tinged foam that settles to a persistent cap, leaving behind copious splotchy lace. Hazed bronze body.

S - Dankness, chives and green onion, pine, citrus zest, tropical fruits, a hint of burnt sugar but otherwise a mainly sugar cookie malt backbone.

T - Taste is less malt-forward, with more tropical fruits, citrus, and pine, with a little bit of sugar and toffee malt in the finish. Surprisingly low bitterness in the aftertaste.

M - Smooth medium body, medium carbonation, and a dry finish with plenty of residual oily resins. 10%? Really?

D - This is a great DIPA, although more what I expect from the Midwest as opposed to California. Still, going toe-to-toe with something like Surly Abrasive Ale is no shame. Highly recommended.

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Photo of jrnyc
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
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!

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Photo of JWD
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was cool, i had never heard of this and it was an extra in a recent trade. VERY COOL.

Alright, i love my DIPA and this did not disappoint and it continues to drive the point that there are a ton of GREAT beers out there outside of the hyped alternatives.

I pour this into a pint and it was a deep golden redish color with a bright white frothy head like most big DIPAs would and should look like. The body of this beer looked pretty big, thick and rich.

I really enjoyed the dank, skunky, pine forest of a DIPA that this was, this is an exceptional beer and worth seeking out if you are in the area of it. GREAT BEER..

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Photo of jrallen34
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle poured into my Narke glass...A super dark ipa, dark copper bordering on a shiney brown, semi clear. A huge tope head of about five fingers emerges77, a fluffy head that looks great. The retention is good and lacing is awesome, literally coats the whole glass. Stunner...An equally impressive aroma that instantly reminds me of a stronger Daisy Cutter. Grassy hops with caramel, no hints of alcohol or pine typical in a DIPA, love it! A unique hint of vanilla on the finish...The taste matches the muted dipa notes on the aroma, but they take it a bit too far. I like that its not an alcoholic pine bomb, but then again it could use more flavor overall, just pretty light. The front is very malty, caramel, and again some vanilla. Pineapple shows off some great notes as well, especially as it warms. The finish is a very smooth pine resin taste and sensation, not overly bitter, doesn't attack the senses...Mouthfeel is ok, lighter for a dipa, especially on the finish...Incredibly easy to drink for 10%.

A huge and positive surprise. An easy to drink malty dipa that I really enjoyed.

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Photo of abrand
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bomber poured into pint glass

Pours a copper color with huge 3 finger white head. Good retention and exceptional clarity. Smell is dominated with citrus fruits. Oranges, grapefruit with plenty of hops. Taste is spot on with a nice balance of sweetness up front with a bitter finish from the hops. Amazing beer. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Overall this is one of the better DIPA's I have had. Pretty high ABV but flavor profile hides it well.

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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 reebtaerG
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured bomber into Lost Abbey Teku no date on bottle

A-Pours a deep copper orange with a two finger off white head. Great lacing.

S-Aroma is of pine, grapefruit, sweet malts, caramel, and some tropical hops.

T-Taste is very similar to the aroma but has a bit more hops and caramel.

M-Mouthfeel has a medium to full body. At the beginning it's slightly creamy and finishes slightly dry. Has great carbonation.

O-Overall a great DIPA, I enjoy the balance of the hops and malt. I would definetly get one again.

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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 AgentZero
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Bright orange color with a small head and good lacing. No where else to really go with this one.

S - Tropical fruit, grassy hops, little bittering, nice citrus. Caramel malt backbone is surrounded nicely by the hops. Good stuff.

T - This is a great tasting and shockingly awesome beer. Citrus hops and tropical fruits and a nice sweetness and the caramel in the malts is not overpowering. Alcohol is indetectible in this one.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbionation.

D - Dangerously drinkable at 10%, and a grea beer I'd love to have again.

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Photo of buffs9
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle thanks to Salukialum for the hookup

A: Great 1/2 inch of foam, dark orange/ruby color, very pretty.

S: hoppy piney sweetness, grapefruit.

T: Some great hop punch which is smoothed out by grapefruit and citrus in the middle.

M: a bit oily, smooth

O: A damn fine double IPA, wish I could be this locally b/c I'd buy it often.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Solomon420 for this amazing extra.

A: Pours amber with a nice white head and a bit of lacing as it goes down.

S: Quite a bit of citrus and pine throughout. Not completely dominating, but very powerful.

T: Citrus and pine again. Quite a bit of bitterness. Balanced between different hop flavors, but definitely not by the malt.

M: Medium body with good carbonation and a nice resinous dryness.

D: Very drinkable. Not quite as good as the Citra we sampled that night, but an excellent DIPA and a huge surprise.

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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 thagr81us
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up at the brewery while out in Cali for the Bruery RS Party. Big thanks to womencantsail and t0rin0 for bringing this one to my attention as I would have otherwise overlooked it while there. Served from bottle into a Green Man snifter. Poured a deep red-orange with a one finger very light tan head. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, orange zest, caramel, and citrus hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus, citrus hop, bitter hop, and alcohol. It ha d medium feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a damn nice DIPA. You can defintely tell this is a higher-ABV brew. The citrus aspect in this one is nothing short of excellent. A pretty nice flavor all-around going on here. If I'm honest, the alcohol aspect of this one definitely hurt the drinkability. If you haven't tried this one before, you definitely need to make the effort.

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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 DavoleBomb
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Big thanks to PretzelCity for this.

4.5 A: Almost opaque plum color. Two fingers of super creamy off-white head with good retention and plenty of lacing.

4.5 S: I'm really liking the nose on this. Great balance between the hops and malts. Hops are floral foremost (and powerful!) with grapefruit and pineapple next, then pine. Malts are a half step less powerful than the hops. Lots of crystal malts with plum fruitiness and a light toastiness.

4.5 T: Like the nose, big hops and big malts. Again lots of grapefruit and pine. Undernearth, this is a bit more citrusy than the nose, but just barely so. Pineapple and orange are featured here. A slight touch of herbalness as well. For the malts, there is plenty of caramel again, apple and plum fruitiness, and a touch of toastiness. Mild yeastiness to round this out.

4.0 M: Heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. A tad bit chewy with only a moderate creaminess. Still good here.

4.5 D: I had heard this tasted like Hopslam, but I don't think that's really a fair comparison. The hop profile definitely reminds me of Hopslam, but that's about as far as the similarities go. What we have here instead is a quite tasty, East Coast style DIPA. The hops work really well with the solid malty backbone. Very enjoyable experience.

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Photo of portia99
4.45/5  rDev +4%
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.

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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!

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Knuckle Sandwich from Bootlegger's Brewery
4.28 out of 5 based on 1,081 ratings.
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