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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:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 257 | Ratings: 1,081
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 kojevergas
3.24/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a .5L New Belgium goblet (thanks Long!) in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, California. Acquired at a beer store near my work. Expectations are above average; I don't recall having anything impressive from this brewery and American-brewed IPAs often disappoint with their penchant for dicksizing IBUs and hop content. Still, I remain hopeful. 10.00% ABV confirmed.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm a bit before serving. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger beige=light khaki colour head of nice full cream, good thickness, and great retention for the high ABV. Body colour is a nontransparent somewhat dull copper-amber. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Rather dark compared to most good beers in the style that I've had. It's not looking great, but the head does impress me.

Sm: Soapy hops. Floor cleaning liquid. Floral hop character. Some buried citrus when I really dig. Dries the nostrils. Not at all appealing. It just seems like a beer that will drain the palate for no particular reason. I'm not at all excited for this. A moderately strong aroma.

T/Mf: Soapy, but with a lightly creamy pine surge towards the climax. Floral hops are rampant throughout. Some grapefruit, but also some berry towards the finish; the bright berry is unexpected but adds a dimension. Hop bitterness is well disguised, but it still dries the hell out of the mouthfeel and lends the flavour a musty character that I'm not fond of. Sort of an unwarranted scratchy coarseness. It's otherwise pleasantly wet and thick enough. Carbonation is good; no problems there. Pale and amber malts just sort of sit there, helping build a backbone and lending body but not adding anything of interest. Seems a lot more attention was paid to the hops than the malts, and they don't work all that well together as a result. Decently balanced, but then the key to this style is balance. What it does do well is hide its high ABV - which is quite an achievement at 10.00%. That said, I could guess its ABV just by its heavy presence on the palate. She does get better as she warms, with light caramelized malt and more of the berry seeping in to offer a struggle against the overbearing hops. I acclimate to the soapiness as I drink, but I doubt I'll fully get past it. The finish is a definite highlight, almost evoking a bit of nectar. It's growing on me over time, but its flaws only minimize - they do not diminish completely. No yeast comes through.

Dr: Very drinkable for the high ABV, but not a contender in this style. When you brew this style, you have to bring more to the table if you want to stay afloat. I get what they're trying to do, and it's different from most beers in the style out there. Different, yes, but not better - though I applaud the experimentation. This is one every true fan of the style should try, but don't expect a beer of impeccable balance. This is its key flaw. I look forward to trying more beers from the brewery; this really shows promise. Would I get it again? Nope.


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Photo of Samuel906
3.17/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Honestly, I don't know what all the hubbub about this beer is. I was pretty disappointed. Best thing about this is the way it looks, a deep dark amber with the fluffiest head I have ever seen. Smell was lots of grapefruit but muddied and sweet. Taste wasn't too far behind. Sweet molasses, orange, caramel, mango and very yeasty. Very heavy and syrupy. This was thick, sticky, sweet, and hard to drink, and the hops seemed distant. The only thing I can think is that I got a bum bottle that wasn't fresh. I am willing to try this again if I could guarantee the freshness but as it stands, a pass for me.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.06/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by Darrell. Thanks!

A: Dark orange hue with a half inch of head and good lacing upon the glass.

S: Aroma is a bit odd and hard to describe. Hop scents are also present.

T: Bold and hop forward, but again, slightly off-putting and astringent.

M: Medium bodied and palate coating, with a slight metallic aftertaste.

D: This beer was mediocre. I found both the aroma and flavor to be a bit off throughout.

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Photo of AleWatcher
2.95/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared this bottle at a tasting... Served in pints.
Thanks to Sideswipe for the chance!

Pours a dark amber color... 2 finger off-white head. Respectable retention and lace. Not impressed, but not bad.

Smells malty. Real malty. Caramel and biscuit with some toasted bread notes too. Very biscuity. The hops are mostly floral and citrus-- they come in weak compared to the malts...

The taste starts off caramel sweet but dries a little to reveal biscuity and toasty flavors. The hops are grapefruit, orange and floral... Decent balance, but no real bitterness to cut through the sweetness up front. I prefer a bit more punch. The body is generically middle of the road. Medium full feel with some syrupy tendencies and some lingering oiliness. I prefer prickly and clean. The bitterness has an odd and unpleasant coffee-like quality that really doesn't belong.

Overall, this beer just isn't my preferred take on the style.

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Photo of unitmonster
2.86/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served out of a 22oz bomber from the last release in July.

A - Standard yellow IPA/DIPA color. Generous head.

S - Alcohol, followed by hoppy pine and citrus smells.

T - More alcohol. This DIPA feels so imbalanced. Tons of malt flavor and really warm alcohol.

M - Great carbonation, finishes well.

O - Am I drinking the same beer as everyone else? I've had this and thought it was pretty bad. I had a small tasting and other people thought the same thing (note: different bottles that I did not buy). I feel like there are far better DIPAs out there then this.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
2.68/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled 7/7/11 - consumed 2 1/2 weeks from bottling.

Appearance -- pours a ruddy golden amber with a thick sudsy parchment head. Lots of lace. Photogenic, albeit a bit dark.

Smell -- Brimming with caramel malt, juicy citrus, and pineapple. There is also some hop-derived spiciness that seems to hang in the background. To describe the smell in one word: sticky.

Taste -- Tangerine and pineapple, plum and assorted drupes - very fruit-forward, with a modicum of spiciness and mild leafy bitterness. Caramel malt sweetness is quite apparent without the necessary hop bittering to lend balance. decent complexity, but as time progress the malt sweetness begins to taste cloying. Lingering flavors of caramel malt, sticky ripe fruit, and faint leafy vegetation.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation and a hint of booze bite. Sticky/oily finish.

Overall -- Is there huge batch variation or what? I just don't see how this beer has earned it's accolades. It's sticky sweet and terribly lacking in crisp hop bitterness that typifies the style. If somebody told me this was their 90 Minute IPA homebrew clone, I would tell them they did a fairly convincing job.

Your mileage may vary.

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