Knuckle Sandwich | Bootlegger's Brewery

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259 Reviews
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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
Reviews:
259
Ratings:
1,087
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
10.75%
 
 
Wants:
430
Gots:
156
For Trade:
4
User Reviews
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Reviews: 259 | Ratings: 1,087
Photo of jlindros
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, an A rating for an IPA that doesn't have a huge reputation... or at least I haven't heard of it yet. Thanks a ton to imperialbeachbrw for this unknown gem.

Into my oversized snifter it pours a rich frothy large 2 finger head that fades semi quickly over a very clear mahogany copper orange color. The head fading leaves a slight lacing.

The nose has lots of juicy fruity hops, plenty of tropical fruit hops, some citrus, plenty of grapefruit, a bit of tangerine, pine, and even fruits such as juicy peach and clementine. I barely get any malt behind all the awesome hop aromas, just a touch of a light malt. The hops are very nice, no big heavy bitter hops, no astringency, no earthy hop aroma, and the piny hit is very light. Just lots of citrus and tropical juicy fruit hops.

Taste brings more of the hops, but not quite as much to start. Lighter fruity hops again, citrus, light tangerine and clementine, light grapefruit, and this time a little light herbal hop. Some other juicy fruits like peach and tangerine again. A slight spicy and piny hop flavor too. All the hops combine for a nice flavor, with some light bitterness but nothing rampant. A very light smooth malt flavor to deliver the hops, nothing much on that end. Just enough for a slight sweetness to balance the hops and carry the hops and bitterness to the mouth without the hops coming crazy on the astringency. A slight reddish malt flavor, with a bit of a toasty flavor, that combines well with the hops actually. The light sweetness continues onto the finish, which doesn't dry as well as I expected, but that could be a good thing as a big dry finish would make the hops get too bitter. The bitterness is balances very well, that intensifies a slight bit on the finish but never over bitter. More lingering fruits, a bit of pine and spicy hop, and a slight sticky feel that comes from the sweet finish. The booze is very smooth, drinks like a 6% not 10%!

Mouth is medium to slightly heavier bodied, with decent carbonation, and a very slight warming booze, very slight. There is also a bit of a gritty mouth feel too.

Drinkability is pretty good, with 10%abv beer drinking like a 6 or 7% beer, light sweetness, and the bitterness of all the nice hops is really kept in check well. The only issue with the finish is the slight gritty feel and it would have been a little bit nicer to dry a little bit more on the finish.

Yes, this was a very nice IPA, worthy of the A rating, and should get more recognition IMO. Thanks a lot James for sending this one for me to get to try. I may have to try more of these beers. Solomon420 got me hooked on Kern River a couple years ago when they were just starting out, and unknown. Now I think you have me set on trying more Bootleggers. Cheers to that!

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Photo of LevitatedEep
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into my Chimay glass.

A - Red and orange in color not much head but some nice lacing.

S - Smells delicious, lots of pine and malty....cannot stop sticking my nose in the glass....this one should taste great.

T - MMM this one is very tasty...bitter but not overwhelming...a tasty sweetness slides down my throat along with the bitter hops...very nice.

M - Very nice....not too carbonated, it is almost perfect.

D - Very easy to drink for a DIPA....could session this one forsher...

Another great Southern Cali DIPA and I live a few miles from the brewery yay!

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Photo of Trueant1
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish orange hue, average white head. Nice lacing.
Smell is sweet malty, bready, pine, and floral.

well above average taste and mouthfeel. Taste is very malty sweet up front with alcoholic and sweet sweet fruits dominate. Pineapple, figs, grapefruit, and just pure dark sugars! An alcoholic taste mixed in with a perfectly carbonated mouthfeel. The mouthfeel is also sweet and medium bodied. This brew is a BIG surprise, unexpected. Great dipa!

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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 mikesgroove
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

part of the epicness that was the halloween weekend of beer. the last few nights have kicked my ass in every way, but i got to try a bunch of goodies that have long haunted me. served chilled and poured into a 8 ounce taster, this one was consumed on 10/30/2010.

huge thanks to andrew for sending this one my way. i really did not know what to expect, but i was blow away with how good this one really turned out to be. pours out a very solid dark amber with a light cloudiness that yields a head that reaches about two inches in height before settling back down to earth. lots of lacing on the sides of the glass.

aroma is just dirty citrus hops. pineapple, oranges, all kinds of hints of tangerine and just sticky, resin filled fun. this one totally had me from the first smell. each sip was like heaven in a glass as the 10 percent abv was no where to be found and it was as smooth as could be. thick, full profile made your lips stick to your teeth with an amazingly fresh hop profile that was only subtly balanaced with sweet malts that gave it that little bit extra to put it over the top.

overall one of the best dipa i have had in a very long time. i would simply love to be able to try this one again, amazing.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks goes out to womencantsail for this bomber. No freshness date but I know this was recently released... Split into two michelob celebrate tulips.

A: Pours a deep copper color with a light tan head about an inch thick that recedes to a good quarter of an inch that has some nice staying power. Nice spots of lacing as it continues to recede.

S: Incredibly fruity and juicy, lots of tropical fruits, pineapple, and a respectable amount of citrus as well. A decent amount of caramel and smooth malt as well. Doesn't have the super resinous "dank" quality that I had expected. One of the more unique aromas from a DIPA that I've ever come across.

T: Very strong bitterness on the back end that is a combination of alcohol and alpha acids, the tropical fruit flavor comes through quite a bit more as it continues to warm. Pineapple and mango are really the ones that come to mind. The bitterness really is clean and potent, my tongue is reeling a bit. This definitely isn't on the sweet side of the spectrum, as it is incredibly dry and bitter. The only thing holding it back from being a 4.5+ on the taste is the hoppy flavor, its there, but from the nose I figured it would be a bit more intense. Not bad but not quite there either.

M: Medium body, perfect carbonation, and an incredibly dry finish for the size of the beer. Alcohol is hidden very well, almost too well until the beer reaches my stomach where I can feel the heat.

D: Dangerous, for all the things that can go wrong with a DIPA being too sweet, or too boozy, this one hits all the notes exactly how I like it. Splitting this bomber will not be hard at all as this is one of the better DIPA's I've had in some time.

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Photo of koopa
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber received in a trade with a generous BA thanks!

Appearance: Pours a copper to burnt umber with a 2 finger foamy ivory crown. Decent retention and lace are displayed.

Smell: Nice strong citrus hops (mainly grapefruit) / pine hops over light caramel malt with a hint of alcohol.

Taste: Same as nose with a really nice resinous pine hop that adds to the grapefruit and sweet malt mix.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the heavy side of medium and is a bit chewy. Carbonation is decent.

Drinkability: Goes down fairly easily but is also a bit high octane.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

3rd review on BA.

bottle poured to pint glass

App- Dark hued copper slightly lighter than the bottle poured from. Two finger head looks a bit like a ligher colored pancake mix with good carbonation. Tightly wound lacing as it falls

Smell- Huge smell with grand hops with a touch of lemon and orange IMO. Citrus is on first smell as it develops a touch of raspberries.

Taste- Nuttiness with maltiness on the back end of the tongue. Tasted a bit of roasted walnuts and more of a deep malt.

Mouth- Left a small resiny feel on the inside on the cheeks, tongue was pleasently suprised after seeing dark color yet tasting the big hop flavor

Drink- To me this was another one of those 1 beer per session beers. It's a big 10% that left me full.

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Photo of Acsanchezz
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A tasty brew that goes down easy with great flavor. Nice amber color with a healthy head. Smell is pleasant but not too strong. Taste is it's strongest point, oh wait the great mouthfeel makes it that much easier and smoother to drink. Nice mixture of hops with a nutty flavor to balance it out. Hard to believe this brew has 10% ABV.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fresh bomber thanks to Ryan and split with milwaukeeclassic while he dictates from the website Things Republicans Hate. Teaser: yoga and NPR.

Burgundy with a consistent quarter inch head and minimal bubbleage

Once opened and even prior to being poured, this beer can be detected from across the room. As odd as it may sound, predominant scents include fresh sliced pineapple and hot oven baked pie. Really it's quite appealing.

Tastes like it smells. Caramel sweet pie, pineapple, whipped cream, and crust. Drinks like a dessert. Minimal heat on the back end is very welcome considering the 10% tag. Certainly not a hop bomb, but all the elements of a solid DIPA are here.

Smooth and viscous; an enjoyable treat.

Much appreciated Ryan...thanks again for the opportunity.

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Photo of scottyshades
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Big thanks to mrmiles for this extra bomber

A: Pours a deep garnet color with a small fluffy white cap. The head and the retention is decent given the ABV

S: If I could give this a 6 I would...exactly what I love in IPAs. Lots of sweet pineapple juice, mango, blood orange, apricot, pear, and other orchard fruits. So damn awesome. Malts do a lot in terms of balancing, also adding some caramel sweetness.

T: Sweet tropical fruit...whoever mentioned candied pineapple hit the nail on the head. Also candied mango. Lots of residual sugar on top of sweet tropical/citrus fruit, on top of sweet caramel from the malts. Alcohol is very warming, but not really a problem. Well balanced- sweetness with hops.

MF/D: Viscous, sweet, and smooth. Easy to drink despite the ABV. Do not recommend taking a bomber down by yourself...which is what I am attempting, hence my 4 rating for drink

Notes: Really solid offering from a brewery I've never tried or even heard of...But definitely will be ISO their beers in the future.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured an amber brown with slight orange highlights that had a thin head and left decent frothy lacing sticking to the glass.

S: very nice nose on this one consisting of citrus lemons, tangerine, mango, pine, floral hops, and some sweetness I believe are coming from the caramel malts.

T: it did get the piney floral hops but they were not as potent on the palate as I thought thay would be but was nice and also had citrus tangerine, mango, and grassy accents. It also had some sweet malts that over powered the bitter bite just a tad.

M: the brew was medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a fruity, sweet, piney hoppy and slight bitter finish.

D: it drank really good but I hope they can add just a little bit more of a hop punch. I heard a lot about this beer but it definitely needs some tweeking to keep up with the west coast hop bomb game.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.38/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A friend shared this bottle and I had mixed feelings about this beer. It looked like it was a dark orange color with a small wispy head. The smell was quite hoppy, pine and citrus. The flavor was also nce and hoppy with more pine but it was also sweet, syrupy, and astringent. I was happy to only have to finish eleven ounces because a full bomber would be too much.

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Photo of BevMoAndrew
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a mug from tap at Hollingshead

The Bootlegger's Knuckle Sandwich pours a golden honey-like color in the mug with a thick white froth, good head retention, & nice lacing. The nose is absolutely amazing with pronounced aromas of grapefruit, apricot, mango, pine, fresh floral hops, spiced herbs, caramel, & fresh baked biscuits that follows through on the palate. The beer is full bodied, has a definite hop presence - however balanced with the malt - good acidity, smooth mouthfeel, & long finish. Although I have never had too many Bootlegger's beers, I heard about this one through the grapevine & couldn't pass up the opportunity to try it. In all honesty, I'm not one for DIPAs because I find them to be unbalanced, however, this DIPA is absolutely amazing! Highly Recommended!

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Matt at the Green Jug for the heads up. After looking at the reviews of this I was very excited to go and pick it up tonight.

Appearance - Pours a clear, caramel looking color into my JP Pint Glass. About two fingers of tan colored head is achieved with a moderate pour, which dissipates relatively fast, leaving trace lacing.

Smell - Damn! Citrus aromas are just flowing from the glass. Ripe grapefruit, passion fruit, orange, pine, slight hops, no "noticeable" caramel sweet backbone besides the ripeness from the citrus.

Taste - Damn again! An immense citrus burst is the first flavor to hit my tongue. The ripe citrus (mainly grapefruit in the taste) gives way to a moderate bitterness from...it would appear grapefruit yet again but unripened. Slight pine and hops in the middle which gives way to an unexpected malty backbone, though I am not complaining because of the way the citrus just takes over. I'm a huge citrus IPA/DIPA fan and this beer is right up the alley of what I remember The Oracle being like last year. The finish is of slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, creamy almost, lower carbonation, finishes just a hint dry.

Drinkability - Pretty freaking drinkable. I'm going to test this with a PtE that I have chilling in my refrigerator after I finish this review. Slight alcohol taste and warming, though overall it is pretty well hidden. Pretty balanced overall - not too malty, bitter, or citrusy. Glad after reading reviews the beer lived up to what I was hoping it would be. Hope this is available more often because I will be picking this up regularly to get my citrusy DIPA fix. Very quaffable.

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Photo of chickencoop
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you Green Jug for always having Bootleggers, and this recomendation, as well as the closest place besides WF-Santa Clarita that serves my Bottleggers fix from Oakland. On with the beer. Deep amber pour, big and sweet citrus on the smell and taste. The taste is smooth, get's a little more boozy as it warms but way to drinkable at 10%. great beer, need more.

update 1-7-11; one of the most consistant DIPA's out there.

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

On tap at Bootleggers, poured into a mason jar (interesting)

Golden, reddish amber- crystal clear- no head.

Grapefruit, pine, herbs and flowers on the nose. Pine sap, grapefruit again, tangerine and mango too, herbal hop undertones on the taste. Sticky sweet caramel with a sweet finish. As the beer warms a slight tomato like flavor comes through, but not in an unpleasant way. Crisp flavors, surprisingly balanced; not messy like many other DIPAs.

Medium to light bodied with a medium to high carbonation level which works very well with this style. Solid DIPA.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber poured into a nonic. Thanks Andrew!

Pours a dark, orange-amber with a massive foamy and bubbly cream colored head. Appearance of the head is slightly off as it is overly foamy, but still has long-lasting retention and a few webs of clumpy lacing. Aroma is a punishing blend of fresh grapefruit, grapefruit and more grapefruit. Some pine and sweet malt notes add some depth to the nose, but really... who needs that? :). Flavor is dominated by resiny, sweet grapefruit and abundant bitterness in the finish. Balance is offered by piney hops; the malt backbone has a very hard time making it's presence felt. There is also a hint of solventy alcohol that lingers near the back of the palate and some mild spice. Medium body with active, light carbonation. Balance, subtlety, depth beyond delicious fresh grapefruit hops, etc are not the strong point of this beer, but I don't really think they're meant to be either given the beer's name and label. The booze and the unchecked hop forwardness detracts from the drinkability a little, but this is a nicely crafted fresh hop fix.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Stone Bistro on 6/29. Review from notes.

a - deep golden, almost burnt orange color, quarter-inch ivory head with decent retention and lacing, fairly clear with only minimal haze

s - huge grapefruit dominated aroma, lighter notes of pine and caramel malt, wisps of alcohol in the nose

t - big bitter and sweet grapefruit explosion up front, pine mixes with citrus on the midpalate along with light caramel notes, finish is pine bitterness and light sweetness along with a decent alcohol heat

m - medium to full bodied, moderate carbonation, nice alcohol warming, pretty dry on the finish

d - not overly drinkable for the style, you can taste the alcohol but it's not overwhelming, pretty harsh on the palate, but that's essentially what you're asking for with a big DIPA, I like that the sweetness component is a bit more muted than many recent DIPAs I've tried

Great effort by Bootleggers here. It's only the second beer I've had from them, but the first exceeded expectations, as did this one. Well worth seeking this one out.

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Photo of SShelly
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On draft at Tonys darts away.

Pours medium amber, crystal clear with light white head.

Aroma is a small blast of hops with some sweetness behind.

Decent upfront bitterness with strong hop finish, a little sweeter than I expected. Really smooth for the alc percentage, pretty darn enjoyable, in fact probably my favorite thing I've had from bootleggers so far.

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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 Overlord
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a surprisingly dark amber/orange color. No real head, just a wisp of off-white foam.

Smells like a bunch of juicy bitter grapefruits, a splash of pine and pineapple, more grapefruit, and a bit of malt.

Tastes like some malt, bitter grapefruit ... surprisingly well balanced. Great juicy mouthfeel.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Whole Foods Venice for a Bootlegger's tasting event. Very suprised to see Aaron hooking up a keg along side a Black Phoenix tap already flowing. Pours amber-orange with a nice white head. The nose is lovely with a strong citrus note. Taste is well balanced with resiny hops and good malt backing. Did I mention the citrus? Very solid DIPA, right up there with the best. Grateful and pleased to have it again. Aaron is doing it well. Go seek it out, you'll be glad you did.

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Photo of PretzelCity
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass on Tap at Tony's. Poured a nice deep golden amber color into the glass with a white one finger head that quickly faded to lacing around the glass. The smell is a hop punch in the nose. Lots of citrus and pine stand out, not a lot of malt detectible. Taste is more of the same, lots of citrus and piney hops. It reminds me of the first time I had Sculpin. Flavors like grapefruit jump out. The mouthfeel is great for me. Syrupy hop resin makes this beer thicker, with body and bite. The hops tingle your tongue with each sip like hop pop rocks. Not overly bitter but enough to get you in the back corners of your mouth. This beer is smooth and very drinkable, but at 10% it won't be drinkable for very long. I really like what Bootlegger's is doing and I think this is their best offering by far.

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Photo of bump8628
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1/2 liter pour at Hollingshead's Deli.

Medium amber with an inch or so of persistent off-white head.

For some reason the nose on this beer is muted, especially for a DIPA. I get faint whiffs of the requisite citrus and pine and not much more. Hmm...not impressed so far.

There they are! The hops reveal themselves once the beer hits the palate. Herbal, pungent, piney, with a splash of citrus peels to boot. Malt actually holds its own admirably with a solid backbone of caramel. Medium-dry with a nice sticky feel that coats my tongue in lupulin goodness.

A nice DIPA from a brewery I hadn't heard of before. Where's that 10% ABV? This one drinks more like an 8%er.

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Knuckle Sandwich from Bootlegger's Brewery
4.28 out of 5 based on 1,087 ratings.
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