Knuckle Sandwich | Bootlegger's Brewery

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256 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:
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 Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Bruery Provisions store and bar. There was some buzz about this beer, where it will be on tap and the like. I found it to be a bang on DIPA, but not living up to any hype. Golden orange coloured body. Orange taste, the IBU certainly up there. Leaning on the bitterness, but still balanced. Middle bodied. What's not to like.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear dark amber color with a HUGE 3 inch bone colored head. Thick foamy ring lacing on the drink down. A very beautiful beer. Smells of fresh pine hops, sweet malts, peach/nectarine. Taste is beyond delicious. Herbal piney hops, sweet malt base, and a very tropical peach-like fruitiness. Hardly any lingering bitterness on the tongue. 10% ABV is extremely well hidden in this beer. Good carbonation with a medium body. Slightly creamy and sticky. Drinkability is absolutely perfect. Very hoppy but without extreme bitterness, tasty malt backbone, and a wonderful fruity taste. I only bought one bottle and I wish I bought more. I will be on the lookout for this one from now on. A must try if you see it.

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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 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.

B-

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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 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 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 mactrail
3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a handsome dark coppery amber color. Nice head in the small Societe nonic. Plenty of lacing and a nice sudsy mouthfeel. Big flowery and resiny aroma.

The initial taste is really hot. Quite fruity followed by a searing bitterness. "Come as the fire, and burn," if there are any Methodist hop enthusiasts. The sharpness is almost painful, but this stuff is so full of fruit. Mango, pineapple, and apple juice concentrate.

This just adds yet another fiendish hop potion to the pharmacy. For those in need of a fix, here's your Daddy. From the 22 bottle bought at Liticker's in Ocean Beach.

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Photo of mothman
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours 1 finger of creamy beige head. Color is a lot darker for a dipa. It is a dark amber gold.

Aroma: A lot maltier than I was expecting for a Cali DIPA. Very bready with some caramel malt flavors. It is still hoppy. Floral and a bit citrusy.

Taste: Again, this DIPA is malty. It is kind of off putting. It is hoppy, but all the bready malts bog it down. Some citrus fruits. Floral notes. Biscuit flavors.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and creamy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends with a sticky hoppy aftertaste.

Overall, I was surprised to see this on the top 100 list. It just isn't a very exciting DIPA. Not something I would really want a lot 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 womencantsail
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On-tap at Bootlegger's

A: The pour is a clear amber color with a fluffy off-white head and great lacing.

S: A quick whiff gives one a blast of fresh citrus hops. Plenty of grapefruit and a touch of pineapple work wonderfully with the pine character.

T: The flavor is wonderfully balanced (in a west coast sort of way). The bitter and piney hops are the star of the show with plenty of grapefruit to go along with it. There is an ever so slight touch of caramel malt to go along with it.

M: The body is medium with a moderate level of carbonation and a dry finish--fairly standard here.

D: I would never have guessed that this is 10% ABV. Such an easy drinking and wonderfully hoppy DIPA.

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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 mdfb79
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 10/13/12 notes. Big, big thanks to the 2 people who brought bottles of this to the NYC Top Hpos tasting; I believe brystmar brought one of the bottles. Been a Want of mine for a while.

a - Pours a deep amber-red color with one inch of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of fruity malts, citrus hops, grapefruit, light pine hops, tropical fruits, toasted malts, biscuit malts, and bready malts. Nice and fruity, though much more malty than I was expecting.

t - Tastes of fruity malts, pine hops, grapefruit, citru hops, tropical fruits, caramel malts, dough, and bready malts. Again, lots of fruits and malts, which is nice.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Not a lot of bitterness to it; pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall I thought this was a very good beer, though it was super malty nowhere near as hoppy as I was expecting. Lots of fruit to it and malts, and no bitterness, which makes it easy to drink. A very good beer worth checking out, but not a hop bomb in the least, so don't expect it to be one.

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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 Alieniloquium
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into an Allagash chalice.

Appearance - Burnt orange, clear body. Big white head. Laces nicely and sustains a collar with a layer of surface foam.

Smell - Really nice pine hop aroma. Strong hops with an equally strong malt aroma. Some booze in there too.

Taste - Pine and grapefruit hops immediately backed up by a toasty malt. Sweet, but not overly so. Biscuity malt. Some booze here too.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy, sharp alcohol bite. Reminds me of Hopslam.

Overall - I get that it's good, maybe better than good, but not quite what I've read about this. Plenty of other IPAs, especially where this one is from, that go toe to toe with this.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Mahogany color with white head. Aroma has a heavy malt backbone with earthy and piney hops. Taste starts hoppy with intense bitterness and a solid malt backbone. Heavy body with medium carbonation. Not bad but it's very old school and generic.

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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 smakawhat
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a spiegelau IPA glass.

Big thick and tall, creamy to foamy light tan head, billowing like a giant fist off the pour and quite uniform in bubbles. Body color is very dark and nearly brown but goes to deep bronze red and just can see through it. Edges provide lots of lighter red and orange color, but bleeds like blood. Just creeping, slow, and small rising carbonation. Great looking brew.

Real neat aroma. Dank hints, a sort of mix of juiced garlic roasted sweet onion notes and faint fruit somewhat indistinct senses, kind of tangerine citrus barely. Somewhat complimenting, but not getting in each others way too much. Goes to hop smoke aromas also which is real nice. This I think could be off putting for some but I am enjoying it nicely.

Palate is just... uh... WOW... this is so thick and juiced with coating sugars. Pure icing sugar like feel. Thick brown sugar malt sweetness and practically like drinking hop maple syrup and thick toffee caramel. Palate brings some more big fruit notes, but the caramel sweetness takes over in an impressive way. Finishes with dank qualities, and big almost cherry and raspberry fruit pie like finish. Mild bitterness, just a bit sugary.

Overall this is really impressive and different from nose to palate. REally not what I was expecting making it that more impressive. It is however, just a bit too sweet, and it takes over from the hop aroma and flavors just a little too much. But dang this is going to drink fast.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.4/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Received in a trade with womencantsail, shared at a recent tasting. I wanted to like this beer, I was rooting for it but it just didn't live up to what I expect from a DIPA. I would try it again on draft but I think I would skip it in the bottle if offered again.

Beer is ruby red, it's darker than I expected, almost looks like nugget nectar, I guess that's fine, mostly clear, thin off white head of small bubbles. Like I said, it was dark but looks OK.

Aroma is earthy and malty, I was warned that this is a maltier IPA, the aroma reveals that.

I think this beer walks the line between a DIPA and a barleywine but in my opinion falls on the barleywine side of the line. It is sweet, the middle of the beer is a little earthy and piny and finishes with some nice bitterness but it's not a great DIPA by any measure. At least I don't think so.

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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 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 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 Duff27
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good half inch off white head on a darker red body. Splashy clump lacing and above average head retention.

Danky musty citrus smell, somewhat sweet. Oranges.

Candied grapefruit. Yum. Minimal alcohol heat. Nicely balanced with caramel malts.

Somewhat creamy, adequate carbonation.

Wow one of the best DIPAs ive had in awhile for sure. Extremely well balanced, just tasty. Thanks kawilliams81!

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

Can I handle a growler of this stuff for the next few days? On to the beer:

It's darker than other beers of the style. Shimmering, electric amber with hues of orange, yellow, and red. It shines at you like a jewel! It leaves some good creamy lacing as the head settles down. Lots of goodness in the aroma. A little crackery malt for the base, and lots of hoppiness. Grapefruit, pineapple, lychee, passionfruit, and resin all emerge.

Some DIPA's are bitter, some are balanced, and some are juicy. This is an example of a juicy DIPA. It's never goes bitter, and it doesn't fatigue your palate. At first, there a big burst of sweet orange. Afterwards, mango, grapefruit, passionfruit, pine, and a crackery maltiness creates the overall flavor that makes this beer great. The aftertaste is on the dry side, with little leftovers of dry malt and grapefruit. There's enough texture in the mouth, carbonation is low (but not anywhere near being too little), and there is hardly a trace of the 10% ABV being felt. Come to think of it, it's been awhile sicne I've had a beer this drinkable with this kind of strength.

The DIPA field is crowded, but Knuckle Sandwich can stick its head over most of the field with its different approach to your palate. Needless to say, put this on your wish list hopheads.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium to dark bronze amber with a half finger off-white head that dissipates to patches with light lacing. Big aroma of citrus and piney hops, caramel malt, tropical fruit, particularly pineapple, nice. Flavor is piney hops with notes of orange and grapefruit, caramel and lightly bready malt, tropical fruit; finishes with big resinous piney and orange citrus bitterness. Medium bodied with good creaminess, almost lightly syrupy. A big, robust double IPA, with nice powerful hops with great resin and herbal flavors. Hefty, slightly sweet malt body gives good support to the hops. Warming, but the big ABV is well covered. Great double IPA with big flavors and balance. Glad to have had a chance to snag one of these.

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