Knuckle Sandwich | Bootlegger's Brewery

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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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
256
Ratings:
1,075
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
21.96%
 
 
Wants:
433
Gots:
150
For Trade:
4
User Reviews
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Reviews: 256 | Ratings: 1,075
Photo of Cavery
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared with Klym over the weekend, part of an impromptu kitchen session.

Poured into a Stone Nonic.

A: Plum flesh with a slightly darker cream head at about 3 fingers height. Noticeably darker for the style, and a fairly noticeable organic fog. Unexpected visual, but not disappointing in the least.

S: Hibiscus and plum tea with a bit of an herbal hop linger. Very ephemeral nose, leaves as soon as it goes. Light spices tickle the nose, but I surrender in trying to name them. This nose went some new places for me.

T: Honey drizzled hop cone. Really herbal without any medicinal or bitter aspect. Slight blood orange with a heavy studding of flax seed. Cloves in a deep home-brewed cider. Strawberry sweetness challenges my palate to go deeper. Grape-nutty malt linger. A fascinating take on American DIPA, an obvious flavor deviation from other California offerings.

M: A lighter carbonation that doesn't suck. It's low, but not invisible. I say the mouth with the flavor is pushing the envelope of higher ABV DIPAs. It's the satin glove on the painters hand. So smooth and genre bending.

O: This one really grew on me. Malty deep sweetness that errs on the side of ciders, warm teas, and summer garden berries. It comes at you like a barley-wine made to be consumed fresh. Blossoms are favored over fruits alone. A beer that graduates summa cum laude in the class of other American DIPAs. Alcohol is nowhere to be found, but it attacks you in the end like a ninja.

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Photo of Klym
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another in a session with Cavery. Poured into a Stone nonic.

A: Deep strawberry lollipop color with a 1 inch head, but one that lasts throughout almost the entire drink.

S: Watermelon, hops, cherry, strawberry and a little pineapple tart. Definitely a fruity scent hiding shyly beneath the hops.

T: A fruit cocktail no doubt. The same fruits in the nose and more. Taste slides off smoothly with an unusually sweet aftertaste.

M: Taste is thick and a little grainy, almost like a smoothie. At the same time, with the fruit cocktail esque flavor the mouthfeel seems almost entirely appropriate.

O: This was a pretty self-distinguishing DIPA. I didn't expect it to be so different or good. By far the fruitiest DIPA I've had and second only to Kern 5th anniversary in terms of blending its hops into an overall delicious flavor. Natural flavors and deep sweetness, this one is a winner and a far cry from your run of the mill IPA.

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Photo of stxSS07
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber split with lookitsmp

A- Pours a dark amber with a one finger off-white head. Carbonation streams off the bottom. Leaves big chunky lacing. Good looking brew.

S- Sweet juicy grapefruit, piney-hop notes, sweet caramel and malt come through as well.

T- Bitter piney, flowery hops. Acidic and juicy grapefruit bite. Nice sweet caramel malt backbone in the finish.

M- Medium bodied. Carbonation does a great job cleaning and drying out the palate.

O- One of the better west-coast DIPA's I've had and I'm really glad I got to try this. I'd put it just a notch below Pliny and Hopslam.

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

Pours an orange color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the grapefruit, citrus in general, and some small amounts of malt. This beer is all about the hops. The flavor is very balanced and hoppy. It is way too sessionable. I get a lot of grapefruit and orange notes with some biscuit and caramel malt mixed in. The ale is very sessionable with a medium carb....and huge drinkability.

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Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Everything about this DIPA is good. Not felling the great or wow factor in the recent hype it's received for about 6-8 months now.

Has this beer I want to say 3-4 months ago, picking up a bottle from Beer Revolution in Oakland and they would only sell one bottle per person, hiding it in the back. Said that it's been in the store for 4 days so pretty fresh I assumed.

Where citrus is to WC Dipa's I got a creme brulee and fresh vibrant hop caramel with some pine in the finish. Both nose and taste. Reminds me of a well-done midwest, teetering on East Coast DIPA. Nice change of pace.

Mouthfeel was light and pillowy. Creamy almost. Light carbonation gave a great creamy mouthfeel to a 10% DIPA...what booze?

Just missed by expectations due to hype but did not dissapoint in the least.

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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.

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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 suspect
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mrmarmot for the hookup. Poured from a 650ml bottle into a Dogfish Head signature glass.

A: Deep, dark, down and dirty orange-ish amberish in color. Definitely one of the darkest DIPAs I've ever encountered. Aggressive pour led to a 1.5 finger head that dissipated quickly after pour leaving a thickish creamy ring around the top. Very excellent looking brew.

S: Piney hops with resin backbone. Very similar in the nose to Hoptimum. I loved the smell of Hoptimum so I like this as well. Malt is present but not prevalent. Just enough there to let me know.

T: Way maltier than I expected from this beer but that isn't to say it was overly malty. I also don't think it was all that old either. It had the "Knuckle Sandwich" punch in the mouth with the hops right up front followed very quickly by a sticky caramel and honey mixed malt backbone. For a big DIPA, it tried really hard to be balanced, I just was looking for it to be a hop-bomb, and it wasn't so much.

M: Medium body, limited carbonation. Creamy mouth texture, definitely bitter. No hint of the 10% alcohol like that of a Hellhound for instance.

O: A really solid DIPA. Bootlegger should be proud of their effort here, this is a very drinkable, very smooth, very balanced, very BIG DIPA. Nice work, would definitely get more if it were readily available.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4/8/2011

Bottle picked up at Olive Tree and poured into a snifter. When I had this on tap I wasn't able to spend as much time with it as I would have liked, so I'm eager to revisit it. This bottle is as fresh as the night is young.

A: Deep orangish amber, much darker than a typical Southern California Double IPA. Big frothy beige head had good retention and scattered lacing.

S: This smells a lot like Hopslam. It has a similar marriage of caramel, grapefruit, and perfumy pine. There's a light candied sweetness that gives the impression of candied caramel citrus. Hell of a nose.

T: The flavor is also awesome, but not quite as good as the nose. Lots of caramel, grapefruit, orange, and pine, with a smooth moderate bitterness and a decided sugary character. Again, the sugary malt is not at all characteristic of the Southern California interpretation of the style, but the beer is undeniably great. This is essentially a Midwestern style Double IPA. Alcohol is deftly hidden for the high ABV.

M: Medium in body with nice carbonation. Mouthfeel is smooth and sticky.

Overall: An exceptional beer. If you're expecting a San Diego Pale Ale, you won't find it here, but you will find a high quality Midwest style Double IPA. This is the closest thing to Hopslam that I've ever tasted, and I can't decide which I prefer. Highly recommended.

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Photo of phingdong
3.24/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Tried 2 bottles that I was told were within a month of bottling. Thanks to my trading partner for chance to try this.

A - Much darker than I expected. A nice looking brown/amber with a two finger creamy head.

S - First smell is of faint juicy, dank hops which quickly fades to a sweet, malty (apple juice) aroma. Smells like an old IPA.

T - I was told this would be a bit maltier than most west coast DIPAs, but wow was it malty. The malts overpower any hops that are trying to get through here. Much too sweet with a bit too much alcohol coming through.

M - Great mouthfeel. Very creamy and thick bodied. Coats nicely.

Overall this beer was a letdown for me. Not what I have come to expect or enjoy from a west coat DIPA. Too sweet and malty, with no hop explosion to speak of. I'm glad I was able to try it. I'd like to try it again on tap to see if it is any better.

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Photo of LSUPT
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, thanks to DearthVader, to NB globe
Pours a light brown with a slight amber tint. 2 finger head with a slight beige tint. The head is gorgeous and leaves nice thick lacing before gradually dissipating to a thin film with lacing that glistens nicely but, after hanging on for a moment, dissipates.
Wonderful floral aroma that isn’t immediately noticeable but is coaxed out with a good swirl, as well as pineapple/mango fruity aromas and crisp sweet malt.
Pine is noticeable in the taste as well as some of the fruity flavors similar to the smell. Bitterness is almost unbearable at first but eventually becomes quite enjoyable.
You really feel the alcohol with this one but the texture and mouthfeel is nice. Pretty low carbonation and while it goes down smooth it does make the alcohol and bitterness more pronounced.
At first I was not enjoying this beer as much as I though I would but it really grew on me. Different than DIPAs like Pliny in both appearance and taste this is still a very good interpretation of the style.

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

Thanks to Sebowski who is a great BA. But, he is really a doochebag since he is a Redskins fan and my long time Fantasy Football commish! Cheers.

Pours with a thin head. Nice lacing on the glass. Darker redish in color. Smells fairly sweet and citrusy. Taste is a classic West Coast hop bomb. I don't detect much of the alcohol which is dangerous with the ABV. Worth seeking if you are a hop head. Recommended.

Cheers!

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Photo of Trilogy31
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty dark cherry red, with a creamy eggshell white foam cap. Nose is sweet bready malts, caramel, bright bitter citrus, biscuits with honey, and a slight floral scent. Taste has nice tropical fruit notes, more citrus, some pine balanced by a pleasant mild sweetness and a refreshing bitter finish. This is a great example of a dipa at 10% abv and especially in comparison to double jack and hoptimum which i found to be cloying sweet.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to someone for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours an orange color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the grapefruit. From the smell of it, this beer is all about the hops. The flavor is also very hoppy. I get a lot of grapefruit and orange notes with some biscuit and caramel malt mixed in. Even with all the hoppy flavors going on, the bitterness is still fairly low and makes the beer very drinkable. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of billab914
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Southern Tier tulip. It poured a a deep caramel color with a big, frothy, white head filling the top two inches of the glass. Decent head retention with some very nice lacing as well.

The aroma has a huge malty, caramel, candied fruit like presence to it. The hops come through pretty nicely and add some floral, tropical fruit and citrus characteristics. Definitely surprised how malty this one was, but it was a pretty nice aroma overall.

The taste starts out with more of the malty, caramel and some candied orange flavors. Midway it starts to turn more hoppy with some grapefruit bitterness coming out. It has a decent amount of floral, juicy, citrus hops and they mesh with the sweet malty flavors very nicely. Very nice mix of flavors to it overall.

The mouthfeel feels pretty big for the style but seems to fit the beer well. carbonation is moderate. Overall it was a very tasty beer, the sweeter malty flavors were very good and a nice change of pace from the normal hop bomb DIPA's. Everything came together pretty nicely in it and the sweetness complimented the hops pretty nicely. Very good beer overall.

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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.

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Photo of joepais
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Deuane for sharing this treat with me. We poured the brew into strait glasses and were greeted with a nice two finger white head that laced it way all the way down the glass. The body of the brew was a nice shade of amber. This is a west coast IPA no bones about it. The nose is hoppy and citric good grassiness and floral notes. The flavor is hop bitter forward with almost no malt sweetness coming through. I can see why the Hopheads dig it. The flavor is bitter hops upfront with an ever slight malt sweetness making this brew a very drinkable DIPA. The body is medium with great carbonation adding to the ease of consumption. Yes this is definitely one of the better west coast DIPA I have had this year.

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Photo of Ryan011235
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Lost Abbey tulip on 4/4/11

"I did it on a growler once. That bitch was like, uhhhh. Like a tuba."
-MbpBugeye (who was also kind enough to share this bottle)

Density, haziness and a deep amber color; has a rather rustic look about it. Kind of coppery. One thumb of puffy, clingy foam. Thin layer of bubbly retention with nice patches of drippy lace.

Smells dank and potent; right on. Deep reserves of citrus; spicy, zesty and pithy. Grapefruit, lemon, tangerine and some mango notions. A touch of pine throughout. Overtones of the fuzzier aspects of Simcoe and Citra. Malts come across as sugar cookies and a hint of bread.

Tastes good but not as good as it smells. Citric hops are still prominent but seem to be more of a mish-mash of spiciness and zestiness. Solid, appreciable maltiness; sugar cookies, bread. Not to say it's overly sweet, though - just plenty fleshed out. Piney with moderate bitterness all around.

The feel is fairly dense for the style and kind of grainy. Carbonation seems appropriate. Some slickness as it warms. Though not hot, the alcohol is noticeable.

It has nothing to do with knuckles. It has nothing to do with sandwiches. It has everything to do with smelling amazing. Definitely worth a shot. I'd certainly drink it again.

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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 JeffBob
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured from tap at Bootleggers brewery into a beer glass.
A Great 1/2 inch of foam
S aroma of fantastic hoppy piney sweetness.
T At first bitter hops then sweetness hits you fading away to a nice bitter hop aftertaste.
M bitter dry and smooth
O just fantastic this beer ruined most IPA's for me.

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Photo of Nuggethops
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber (thanks to StevenT562) into an imperial pint glass

Pours a dark amber with a reddish hue. An aggressive pour yeilds a one finger head which dissipates to a frothy white cap, decent lacing with a solid ring after each sip Aroma is of piney hop oils up front with citrus/grapefruit and caramel in the back.

Strong bitter hop taste up front with a slight bitter citrus taste, this beer has a strong malt backbone that tastes of caramel and banana with a slight alcohol taste at the end. This is a dangerously drinkable DIPA, I could easily throw back a few of these and would never guess a 10% ABV if the bottle didn't say so.

Overall this is a delicious well balanced DIPA with a nice malt character to offset the strong hop aroma and taste, I would definitely seek out this beer again.

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Photo of iadler
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a Surly glass. Thanks Brian for this!

A- Reddish hue that has a less than 1 finger head that dissipates quickly

S- Pine, grapefruit, caramel, and a hint of banana. The smell makes it seem like it's going to be a hop bomb

T- Grapefruit and other citrus notes hit immediately, followed by sweet carmel malt and a slight boozy finish

M- Medium carbonation, fairly smooth yet a little chewy. Finishes dry and hard to detect the high ABV

O- A very good DIPA. Beautiful color and pretty balanced for the style. Glad I got to try to this and would be happy to have again.

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Caramel body with a small soapy khaki head. Darker than I was expecting.

Big piney candied grapefruit skin aroma. Spicy black pepper in the background.

A ridiculous punch of Simcoe hop flavor. Big piney, meaty hops. Caramel sweetness and somewhat dry for the high abv and what seems like there may have been a lot of cara malts used (judging from the color). Or maybe they just used a little bit of a darker kind. Somewhat on the verge of becoming an imperial amber ale (å la Nugget Nectar) or a lighter American barley wine than a double IPA. Alcohol isn't really showing its face at all.

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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 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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Knuckle Sandwich from Bootlegger's Brewery
4.28 out of 5 based on 1,075 ratings.
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