White Knuckle Double IPA
Marin Brewing Company

White Knuckle Double IPAWhite Knuckle Double IPA
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IPA - Imperial
Ranked #535
Ranked #2,812
4.16 | pDev: 10.1%
Marin Brewing Company
California, United States
White Knuckle Double IPAWhite Knuckle Double IPA
Reviews: 257 | Ratings: 361 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very nice looking Bomber screamed “buy me” from the Shelf. I hadn’t even seen it, but was subconsciously alerted by my tingling beer sense. Glad to see that it is still working, for this is one great beer.

Has the usual generic Marin Brewing Co. label; this one has a dark blue border with the words “Eldridge Grade White Knuckle Double IPA Ale” daubed next to a picture of a Heron (?) riding a pedal cycle. Named in honor of the bike trail on Mt. Tam - well that’s what the blurb says anyway.

Appearance: Deep auburn-orange-copper color with a thin tan colored head which is large when first poured, but soon becomes a thin broken scum covering which laces well as the head collapses. After a vigorous ‘top-up’ from the bottle though, the head explodes to life - that’s much better. One of those ‘dark’ looking IPA’s that you know is going to kick your arse.

Nose: Not as pungent as I expected to be honest. The label recommended serving this at 45°F, but I found this smothered the nose somewhat at first. As it warmed it revealed fresh citric hops, malts, & a chewy toffee-like aspect that had a pine-resin quality.

Taste: Nice, there is a really great malt-hop aspect to this Double-IPA; neither is dominant, but rather mutually complimentary. It has the malt, bitterness, citric fruitiness and the floral piney-hops in perfect balance for me. This is all-present throughout the beer, start to finish. The malt-bitterness at the end has a lingering hoppiness that is so absolutely perfect.

Drinkability: Huh!! One word, “Dangerously”……

Mouthfeel: I don’t want to keep repeating this word, but it does have a real “chewy” feel to it that lends it a smooth rounded mouthfeel. I wonder if anyone has ever made a ‘Double IPA Toffee’, maybe this is what it would be like if they did.

Overall: Very nice, not as “hop-smackingly” powerful as I feared at first, but rather a very well developed & extremely well-balanced Double IPA that is easily dispatched. Up with the best of the Double-IPA’s that’s for sure. And all this for $3.49 for 22 fl.oz! – Wow, Bargain. It is another “Must Buy and Stock” if I ever see it again.

Jun 07, 2003
More User Reviews:
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turfy from Texas

4.64/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Look - Poured a deep golden amber with an off white that disappated fairly quickly, leaving behind a consistent thin film and a nice ring. Good lacing.

Smell - A nice, unique blend of aromas. A perfumy floral is what struck me first, along with a tangerine/citrus smell. Very nice.

Taste - A bright, clean tang of citrus fruits, and a touch of malt sweetness...thought of honey. Initial taste is followed by a pleasant hop bite that lingers just a bit. Very nice!

Feel - Superb. Not thin and not heavy or cloying...just about perfect with the right amount of carbonation. Did I say it was just about perfect?

Overall - This was my first White Knuckle. I was VERY impressed and will seek this out whenever I can.

Sep 24, 2014
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Hendry from Vermont

4.82/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

When looking at White Knuckle's label, one can't help but notice how "busy" it is: all sorts of colorful artwork and graphics, completely festooned by the prestigious awards it has garnered over the years. Seems like a lot to live up, so anticipation is high.

Pours the color of a grade A amber maple syrup with a fluffy finger and a half of creamy Navajo white head. Splotchy lacing all up in the Lawson's tulip.

Aroma is of naval orange zest and pine: sweet malt detected but in a well balanced manner.

Halfway through the bomber, I concluded that this particular style of IIPA closely resembles the outrageously Simcoe hopped (and dry hopped) New England Imperial Red Ales that I have enjoyed (Lawson's Steve's Back Yard Red Ale new recipe, Maine Beer Co. Red Wheelbarrow).
The flavors are a welcome reflection of the aroma, only the malt plays an even lower profile role in the mix, which is outstanding.

Mouthfeel is medium and creamy. This DRINKS like the hoppy Imperial Reds also, carbonation spot on for the style.

I was floored by White Knuckle, and think it may be my favorite bottled IIPA from Cali. You can easily see why it has won a cornucopia of awards after having the pleasure of consuming this heavenly bomber. I can only hope availability is good on White Knuckle because it is one I want to revisit again, and again!

Mar 20, 2014
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sweetbrew82 from California

4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. into a snifter/ Consumed fresh

P: Cloudy copper with some yeasty floaties swimming about. Had to pour vigorously to achieve even a 1 inch head of off-white head of creamy foam to top it off. Showed good retention before it sank to a thin halo and left some spots of lace.

A: Pungeant and grassy hops come to life with big blasts of citrus and piney hops leading the way. Malt is there in its rightful place, underneath the hop attack.

T: Huge hoppy blasts of citrus fruits like grapefruit, orange, and pineapple work in perfect harmony with sprucey pine that adds the bitter ying to the sweet, citrusy yang. Caramel malt offers great support as it balances out the bitterness of those piney hops with its soft, massaging-like quality on the palate.

M: White Knuckle kind of reminds me of Hopsickle's little brother in the mouthfeel department. It's not quite as fat and chewy as Hopsickle, but it does have those same characteristics to a much lesser extent. It does, however, have that mouth-coating stickiness that allows all of those hop flavors to grab traction and leave a long aftertaste behind.

Notes: While this isn't quite as tropical and complex as some of the other top-notch DIPA's, this is damn good in its own right. It's more polished and less of an in-your-face hop bomb, but I really enjoyed it for what it was. I do wish it was cheaper, though. That way, I could drink it every day! Highly recommended

Jan 04, 2010
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jakecattleco from California

4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Aug 06, 2013
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PutsDeBnABV from California

3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Golden Brown, parially cloudy, nice foamy head and leaves a litle bit of lacing

S - Ultra Hoppy with some earthy smells like pine

T - similar to pure hoppiness with the after taste being a little on the bitter side. The hops is what makes it good.

M - Refreshing at first but has a bit of a dry finish. medium body

D - not much alcohol taste. decent to good sipping beer.

Feb 21, 2009
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Genghis22 from California

4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a gorgeous carmel color with a nice thick creamy head that holds up well. This beer is thick and opaque.

S - Bright clean hoppy smell. Notes of floral citrus and pine, with a touch of sweetness.

T - This is a full on hop assault. The first taste sweet citrus hop flavor, with a bit of caramel malt, but the finish is dry and piney.

M - Thick and chewy with just the right amount of carbonation.

D - Absolutely drinklable! I may not have more than one of these a night, but this is a great brew. The hops are up front and in your face, which is exactly what I want from a west coast DIPA.

Mar 21, 2009
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alleykatking from Indiana

4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade with mjl21 thanks Mike!

A-Poured into a pint glass. Nice quater inch head that seemed to die down slowly which ended up with a nice amount of lacing on the sides of the glass. No yeast sediment that I could make out in my pour. Almost looked like a apple cider with the color and haziness to it.

S-Nice fruity hop smell (grapefruit and citrus). Also, I noticed a slight pine smell with it.

T- Wow very nice hop kick upfront with this beer. Kind of a tangy/fruity hop overload that works itself out to a citrus flavor on the way down. As this beer got warmer I noticed the citrus taste more and more and it stayed after every drink.

M- Clean, crisp taste on the tounge that I have come to expect with west coast beers. Little bit of a oily resin that coats the tounge until the next slip. Carbination is good, once again reminds me of the west coast beers. Not to light or to heavy. Very good mouthfeel.

D- This is a beer that I could drink everyday if given the chance. Only wish I had more.

Overall, I have come to hate west coast beers because I love them and can't get them here. Oh well...here's to trading!

Apr 15, 2009
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PthPndr from Florida

4/5  rDev -3.8%

Jan 21, 2012
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chcfan from California

3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Nov 19, 2014
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jaydoc from Kansas

4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Dec 14, 2013
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KickInTheChalice from Illinois

3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip. Thanks to Tieman for putting this in my box.

Appearance: White Knuckle pours a mostly transparent amber color with a creamy white head. Fairly nice retention on the head with a few spots of lace.

Smell: There is a firm caramel malt presence. The malt has some spicy amber notes as well. Nice grapefruit malt with a lot of spicy pine.

Taste: The flavor starts fairly sweet, but there is a good amount of spiciness throughout the flavor. Caramel, brown sugar, a good amount of spice. The hops are grapefruit and spicy, prickly pine. The finish is mostly clean with a light bitterness.

Mouthfeel: This is sweet, a little bit sticky. Lots of spiciness throughout gives it a prickly sensation. As the bitterness grows, the hop oil mounts on the tongue, staying there for the duration of the sip.

Overall: As far as DIPA's go, I would prefer them to have less caramel malt. Actually, less malt in general is better. More hops and less malt, that is a good rule.

Sep 28, 2011
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corby112 from Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark amber/orange color with a massive frothy white head with excellent retention, slowly fading into a lasting cap. Large chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Floral hop aroma with a good balance of dank earthy and sweet citrus notes. Lots of resinous pils and pine needle countered by citrus ring, mango and pineapple.

Chewy body with a complex hop profile that is faintly countered by some biscuity pale malt. There's a blast of dry earthy hops with some piny bitterness up front which is quickly balance by tropical and citrus fruit notes. Hints of mango, pineapple, grapefruit and lemon peel lingering into a dry finish.

This beer isn't talked about all that much but it's one of the best WCIPAs out there. An excellent balance of dry, bitter and sweeter notes with a nice touch of malt balancing thins out. Full bodied and comp,ex yet still extremely quaffable.

Nov 05, 2011
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kaseydad from California

4.54/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Snifter pour and I am met with a copper/amber ale with a nice white foamy head that dissapates and leaves a fair amount of lacing. The smell is great! Just what a DIPA should be. Hoppy, piney, citrus galore and a faint whiff of alcohol. Hoppy blast on first sip! In your-face hoppy with a big rush of grapefruit on the swallow followed by a long grapefruit finish. Mouth waters for another sip. Light carbonation and high drinkability. The 8% is almost non-existent. I polished off the bomber and was thirsty for more. Even though this beer is almost $10 a pop, it is well worth it. Definitely one of my favorites from Marin Brewing. Only wish it was a regular instead of a seasonal. Great stuff.

Jan 21, 2011
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Arbitrator from California

4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Chilled bomber into a glass. Purchased for about $9 at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley. Oof... More expensive than Pliny the Elder. Better be worth it.

A: Pours a clear amber body in the glass, with a finger of light beige head that retreats into a thick collar and scattered clumps of film on the brew. A ring of lace during each sip.

S: Citrus bomb galore. Grapefruit, tangerine, orange peel, and pineapple. Just a touch of caramel. I love the aroma.

T: Again, a citrus hop bomb. Grapefruit pith, tangerine, orange peel, a touch of tropical pineapple. Just lovely. It is lightly offset by caramel malt, but it still pulls the bitterness together for a pulpy, bitter, and drying (not dry) finish. This is the beer Hop Stoopid is trying to be, I think.

M: Bitter, and only moderately sticky (i.e. the aftertaste carries only some lingering bitterness). I'm a fan. Well disguised ABV.

D: This is where the beer fails. It's great, and I'll buy more fresh bottles at $6 (reportedly the price at the brewery), but the combination of no bottling date + high price means I'm never buying it anywhere else.

Apr 22, 2010
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Captainren from Michigan

4/5  rDev -3.8%

Nov 23, 2011
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wethorseblanket from California

4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

May 01, 2015
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Jmoore50 from Nevada

4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There are very few double IPA's that I do not like. I thought this one has it's place and is very good but does not have any overwhelming or defining characteristics.

The look is great, something about a golden orange color that I just cannot look away from. Came with a pitch white head that was the frothiest I have seen in a while. Left a thick lacing around the glass.

The smell was of oh-so-sweet hops. Just a nice mellow smell. I have read some reviews from others about this brew and they all have the same thing that I was thinking. This is a very 'balanced' brew that is more Eastern in style. I have had just a few East Coast IPA's and I do not like balanced. I like bombs. This leads me to the tasting.

The taste was good but mellow. I did love the vanilla flavor I was getting off the sweetness of the hops. WOW, that made it very enjoyable. The mouthfeel was really good and it was really drinkable. It would of been great if it came in six packs, great summer session brew.

Jul 09, 2009
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ipa247 from California

4/5  rDev -3.8%

Feb 18, 2012
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litheum94 from California

3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Feb 15, 2013
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rpstevens from New Hampshire

4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Overlord for this generous extra. Poured from a bottle into a DFH shaped pint. The beer pours a nice dark copper with a frothy white head. The head quickly fades to a tight ring, leaving oily lacing on the sides of the glass.

The smell is sharp, juicy hops all the way. Lots of pineapple and mango, with some grapefruit and orange peel. There are hints of floral hops as well, but not much malt.

The taste is just as good as the smell. Sharp, juicy, bitter hops rip through the mouth first and foremost. There is a great blend of pineapple and grapefruit first, followed by a slight sweet candied sugar malt, the sweetness just accompanies the juicy and floral hop notes and helps build into the bitter pine hops in the finish.

The beer is well carbonated, medium bodied and the flavors hide the alcohol perfectly. The bitter finish wipes the palate clean and invites further drinking. I wish I had multiple bottles of this one for sure.

Nov 21, 2010
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SpdKilz from Illinois

3.28/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a dark amber color into my SA Perfect Pint. About a finger of tan head is achieved that dissipates at a moderate pace and leaves decent lacing on the sides of the glass. An overall dark colored DIPA.

Smell - Pine, hops, slight onion...honestly it smells a little like Gubna so I am a bit worried at this point. Slight citrus tones can be discovered under the heavy layer of onion, however, the aroma is still relatively slight. This beer better be worth the ten dollars I spent on it, heh.

Taste - Yikes. I have no idea what I'm drinking right now. An incredible sweet malty flavor hits my palate like a ton of bricks. Overly sweet...sickeningly sweet. I really can't taste much hops or pine, though sweet citrus flavors such as pineapple and orange do show through. BUT, throughout all of this there is that distinct onion flavor. Honestly, not very enjoyable - the sweetness is just so damn cloying.

Mouthfeel - The Mouthfeel is the highlight of this beer, if there is one. Medium bodied, nice oily, creamy Mouthfeel, moderate carbonation.

Drinkability - This is a chore to finish but I'll be damned if I drain pour a freaking ten dollar DIPA bomber. After reading other peoples reviews I have no idea what the hell I'm drinking. I know this is fresh because my local beer store guy JUST got it in and it has been in the refrigerator at the store and my place since. This hasn't been sitting around warm on a shelf for the past year (unless this was somehow last years that got misplaced? I'll have to see if there is a way to figure out the bottling date). I get no hop bitterness, just a hint of pine, overwhelming onion and cloying malt backbone. This is a beer I will run away from in the future. Hell, I'd take a DFH 90min over this (and if you've ever read my other D/IPA reviews you know I do not enjoy that beer whatsoever). Baffled.

Nov 04, 2010
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ColdPoncho from Ohio

4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Got this from baycat in the N00B BIF round 4

Unknown freshness.

A - Hazy dull copper body, some nice taupe head.

S - creamy balanced hop profile, pungent hops in the background. Wish it would be a little bit more intense on the hops, but it's nicely complex and balanced.

T - tropical fruit sweetness, bitter, spicy piney hops. Not too strong in the flavor department, but intense on the tongue.

M - Smooth and robust, Very good feel for this style.

O (D) - You know, this is really good. The nose presents a well-crafted well-balanced hop-forward beer, but the taste just wrecks you with hops, but not balance. That is my main problem with this beer. It's good, but a little bipolar.

Jun 07, 2011
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JTahoe from Oregon

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a densely hazy bronze color with solid one-finger tan head with excellent retention and thick, sheeting lacing.

S - Citrus and tropical fruits with a hint of caramel and bready malt.

T - Big juicy citrus fruit flavor up front (lots of orange with a squeeze of lemon, tangelo, and a flash of sweet grapefruit). Very rich and mellow malt background.

M - Medium-full body with creamy/oily-slick mouthfeel and moderate carbonation.

D - Super drinkable with little hint of the ABV. A very nicely crafted beer with layered flavors and very low bitterness for a West coast IPA... and while I love bit and bitter West coast IPAs, this is a very nice drink too!

Jan 04, 2010
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GRG1313 from California

4/5  rDev -3.8%

Dec 10, 2011
White Knuckle Double IPA from Marin Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 361 ratings