Brass Knuckle
Marin Brewing Company

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American Imperial IPA
Ranked #2,711
Ranked #12,649
3.98 | pDev: 15.58%
Marin Brewing Company
California, United States
Very Good
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 51 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of rodbeermunch
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The triple version of whiteknuckle (often outdated in stores, no bottle date) the brass knucks are the trips. Thick viscous pour like some other triple ipas, this one jumps with citra like hops, a shocking lull into high bitterness and boozy alcohol, but warming and enjoyable, not just bitter hops, there are dry hops going on here, good.

Taste was pungent hop, herbal oils, almost summit like onion and garlic contributions. Super bitter, I'd guess over 100 ibu. Its pretty good actually, but you really gotta be in the place to drink something so huge.

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Photo of jvillefan
4.76/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: When poured from the growler, it had a one finger white head over a golden orange body.

S: One of the better noses that I've had on an IPA. Citrus, resin, and pine are dominate here with subtle sweetness from the grains.

T: Equally hoppy and sweet. The hops are citrus predominately with subtle tones of pine. The malt bill is very sweet with an almost honey/caramel flavor to it.

M: Very heavy and perfectly carbonated.

O: Amazing beer. This is a must have.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah, the triple ipa, when whiteknuckle isn't enough, give 'em some brass knuckle, a viscious orange beer, thick like hopsickle or devil dancer. Aroma is pretty massive, citrus hops and alcohol, pretty intense.

Intense accurately encapsulates this beer. Intense huge, sticky, thick, syrupy beer gorged with what seems like it might be Summit hops and alcohol, the grassy sweet garlic and onion is a cool development.

Sweet at times, but thankfully there's so much hops and substantial bitterness that the sweetness never approaches chore territory, everything is balancing ever so precariously it seems, if this beer got a little older and sweeter, it could become a mess pretty easy it would seem, but fresh, on tap like it was at the Bistro, well, that is a monstrous triple ipa my friends, hop heads, seek it out.

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Photo of illidurit
3.36/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap in sample size at the 2011 Bistro DIPA Fest. Pours a deep clear amber color with a lasting, sticky tan head. Aroma is crystal and caramel malts with some grapefruit and other citrus. Flavor is caramel and candied citrus. Bitterness is present but lacking in intensity, and the body is rather syrupy. Doesn't live up to its younger brother White Knuckle.

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Photo of imagese
1.57/5  rDev -60.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

On tap @ O'Brien's

A- golden amber with a one finger head that laced the glass like a nitro stout

S- earthy funk. Onions, grass. VERY herbal

T- onion and flowers. Not the most pleasant of beers

M- SYRUP! Some tingle on the tongue, but this beer is thick!!!

D- forcing myself to finish a 10oz pour. Just too thick and earthy. I can down funky and viscous brews, but this is just missing the spot

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.65/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured on-tap at Kern River Brewing Company as a guest tap. Poured in a goblet, the beer is a cloudy amber-brown, with orange highlights when held up to the light. No head. The beer has smells of flowery hops and cedar. It's very creamy feeling for an IPA. Sharp and bitter on the front of the tongue, with flowery highlights to the finish. Caramel characteristics to the flavor, with some roasted and/or peppery tones. Hoppy and bitter aftertaste, but mild, and almost overpowered by sour and sweet tones. Malt style finish and aftertaste, also. It's like an Amber and an IPA did the nasty!

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Photo of callmescraps
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Giving this one a shot, a little nervous.

Appearance- Deep copper, almost amber. Inch of thick head which caps and laces nicely.

Smell- Pine. Hint of citrus. Plenty of grapefruit. Big nose, but very piney. Want some more fruits.

Taste- Pine. Bitter. Quite herbal and grassy. Some grapefruit as well. Tastes like a hop pellet. A big, hoppy, tongue-scraping bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Syrup. Needs more carbonation, unpleasant.

Drink- Booze is well hidden, but the thick mouth is a killer.

Don't love white knuckle, don't love brass knuckle. A good beer, but not the way I like my DIPAs.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jeff for hooking me up with a growler of this beast.

A: The pour is a clear amber color with a fluffy cream colored head and some sticky lacing on the glass.

S: A blast of hops hits the nose as soon as I loosen the seal on the growler. A mix of intense pine and grapefruit along with a tropical fruit sweetness and a bit of caramel.

T: The hops take on a bit of a floral note in the flavor, but still maintain that intense citrus and pine character that we all love in West Coast IPAs. A fair amount of bitterness on the finish, but a definite sweetness and perhaps just a touch of booze as a warning flag.

M: The body is full, especially for an IPA, with a smooth, medium carbonation. This one is almost chewy in the mouthfeel.

D: Despite the hefty ABV and overwhelming amount of hops, I'm able to drink this one down like it's a regular old 6% IPA. A really great beer.

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

Had this on cask at the 2010 Firkin Festival.

This poured a cloudy red mahogany.

It smelled of juicy mango, passion fruit, fresh pine forest and grass.

It tasted sweet. It was not bitter at all! Well, it had a slightly bitter grapefruit skin ending but it was super fresh fruity tasting with a touch, a slight hair, of astringency. BUT mmmm delicious!

It had a good mouthfeel, good carbonation and good drinkability.

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Photo of christianAK
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of a Cask at the 7th Annual Firkin Fest @ Triple Rock

Poured a bright rich gold with medium carbonation from the Firkin.

Had aromas all over the place. Piney to citrus to catty hops.

Huge mouthfeel. I am still tasting it a day later. Had flavors of honey and pale malt with a huge hop bitter finish.

Excellent beer, albeit very big, from a cask. Should have finished with this one. Will I ever learn?

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Photo of popery
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent DIPA. Lots of malt, lots of hops. It's relatively sweet for such a hoppy beer and there's still a lot of bitterness in the flavor, but the malt has a bigger part. Big caramel notes, almost spicy. Smooth feel. Huge piney and floral hop aroma. Lots of delicate hop flavor - this beer saw a lot of dry hopping. Amongst the best DIPAs I've tried.

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Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark golden/Amber color w/small off white head w/normal fade.

S - Sweet w/citrus(Orange, Grapefruit, and Tangelo), and Candied Sugar.

T - Sweet/Bitter w/Candied sugar, Chocolate malt, Orange, Grapefruit, and Alcohol.

M - Mouthfeel is very good, Oily and even especially for the heaviness of this beer.

D - A good drinkable beer if you are looking for something heavy and oily. I couldn't handle too many.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a medium amber with a finger of white head, nice lace as to be expected.

S: Sweet orange, apricot, peach, perfumey, Viognier-like at times, which is an interesting smell in a beer.

T: Sweet malt at first, almost barleywine like which surprised me a bit since I was thinking something maybe a bit like PtY, but I got White Knuckle: Barleywine Edition which is fine by me. Great full hop flavour, citrus galore, peach as with the nose, stone fruit, and pine needles.

M: Full-bodied, resiny, dank with hops, very long aftertaste.

D: This is a delicious wonderful beer. It's very limited, but I'm grateful to have tried it as I originally though it wasn't going to leave the brewpub up north.

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Photo of vacax
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber golden with a dark white head, good retention and lace. Aromas of geranium, resin, dried fruit, and sweet tea. The taste has a light flowery sweetness at first with geranium, then prickly resinous bitterness with a floral and malty yet drying finish. Somewhat full bodied with a moderate to fuller carbonation that meshed nicely with the bitterness that pricks the tongue. Strong floral and resiny hops, though it is malt balanced, the drying element kept me going back and finishing this fairly quickly, but the specific hop combination here was a bit intense for me to want to go for a second. A real quality DIPA.

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Photo of John_M
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Graciously shared out of a growler from Dyan. Dyan mentioned that it appeared the growler had leaked a bit during its cross country trip, and he was concerned the beer might be flat or off. To our mutual satisfaction, we found neither to be the case.

The beer pours a solid copper color with good head retention and considerable lacing. The beer is all IPA goodness, and in this case includes a huge nose of bitter citrus, pine (and I mean a lot of pine) and some noticeable sweet malt. The latter was a bit off putting, as it usually signifies considerable sweetness and alcoholic bite on the palate (a problem with many East Coast DIPA's). However, while the sweet malt was pretty noticeable on the palate, I detected no heat whatsoever in the finish (very impressed by this). Otherwise, the sweet malt, coupled with the huge blast of hoppy bitterness, tended to bring out some tropical fruit flavors of mango, cherry, pippin apple and light pineapple. However, the fruit flavor was then shoved aside on the finish by a wave of hoppy bitterness. Considering the abv. and sweet malt flavor, I'm surprised by how relatively light on its feet this beer is, and by its drinkability. The combination of sweet malt and noticeable alcohol usually leads to palate fatigue pretty quickly in some DIPA's, but not in this case. Considering what a sizeable DIPA this is, I'm really surprised by how drinkable it is. The beer finishes with wave after wave of hoppy goodness on the finish, leading to a very enjoyable glass of DIPA.

Very nicely done.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After a fucking absurdly horrid day at work, there's no better way than to end it than a growler of DIPA. Thank you, Chris.

Deep crimson, this is surprisingly dark, very Furious like with an off-white head with excellent retention and lacing.

I got a touch of some strange character on the nose. Maybe some hops? No, this is probably a gruit brewed with pine and candied orange with dried citrus, tangerine and mandarin orange. A little alcohol is apparent. Moderately sweet, this is really a bounty of sweet fruit. This is awesome, it really does deserve a 4.75 IMO.
The palate opens moderately sweet with plenty of hop flavor. Sweetness is complex with honey, plenty of candied fruity - pineapple, citrus with orange juice and grapefruit. Super fruity. While there are sweet flavors, this isn't particularly sweet or syrupy. <medium in body with moderate carbonation, this beer dries up on the finish with mild sweetness and moderate bitterness and plenty of hop flavor. Very drinkable, this is a decidedly west coast take on an east coast DIPA.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Thanks Chris! The beer is a dark reddish orange with a big two finger off white head. Retention is pretty good and lacing is scattered on the sides of the snifter when the head recedes.

The nose is of sugary caramel, unripe grapefruit, pine resin, and a bit of orange flesh and pith. Floral notes are prominent and there is a distinct spicy quality to the hop profile. Alcohol is evident.

The flavor is bitter grapefruit with a subtle spiciness that grows stronger midpalate. The malt is of sugary caramel and it provides a nice foundation for the interesting citrus/floral hop interplay. Bitterness is at a moderate level. The beer finishes dry and slightly spicy with a noticeable alcohol presence and a lingering citrus bitterness. This is really enjoyable. It reminds me a lot of Hopnotic but with floral notes and less pine. I've got 50 more ounces of this so I'll see how drinkable it is and adjust my score later. *Update* This goes down way too easy. Great stuff.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at the brewpub.

A: Pours a dark bronzed amber in the glass. It's faintly hazy, mostly translucent, and it glows red in the light. By the time the server brings it, the head has faded into a thin collar, with wispy bubbles.

S: Floral, perfumey, sugar cookie. Candied grapefruit (thanks Chris).

T: Candied grapefruit, blood oranges. Tremendous hop flavor, with nice sugar cookie sweetness rounding it out (and covering up the booze, I guess). It has a delicious floral character to it that I really enjoy. A small spicy bite in the finish -- pepper or cinnamon.

M: Owing to what must be some tremendous sugar, it finishes with a sweet burn that mimics dryness. It has some booze. Viscous, even chewy body, full in flavor. Medium carbonation, with lingering bitterness.

D: This drinks like a much lighter beer. But the $32 growler (that is, the fill) turns me off.

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Photo of largadeer
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub. Burnished copper body with a slight haze, topped by a small crown of foam. The aroma is brimming with floral hops, candied grapefruit, mandarin orange and a hint of sugary malt. On the tongue it's sugary and citric, the candied grapefruit flavor is enormous with fresh floral hops and oranges right behind it. Sweetness begins to fade mid-palate, and it finishes on a semi-dry note with moderate lingering bitterness. This is to White Knuckle as Younger is to Elder; it's chewier, sweeter and hoppier yet remarkably quaffable, and it never overwhelms the palate even after a couple of glasses. Very good.

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Photo of mjl21
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub. Poured into a 10 ounce glass. Comes in at 9.6%.

A-Pours a fairly clear darker amber color. A full pour results in a thin off white ring that sticks around. Leaves a decent amount of lace.

S-Super fresh hoppy nose. Definitely the best part of the beer. It really is a kicked up version of White Knuckle. There is lots of dank and pine mixed in with some citrus. There is also some candy sweetness to it.

T-All of the hops in the nose immediately hit the front and give off flavors of pine, fresh weed, and tropical fruit. It is followed closely by a large malt backbone that imparts a fair amount of sweetness. There is a hint of booze at the end. Reminded me of how Hop 15 tasted the first time I had it two years ago.

M-Thicker bodied, sticky, and nicely carbonated.

D-Lot of hops going on in this one. Don't like it as much as White Knuckle, but is worth seeking out for one or two glasses.

Love the use of all of the hops, but the bigger malt backbone and stronger hints of booze would limit this one for me. Worth checking out if you can find it.

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Brass Knuckle from Marin Brewing Company
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 51 ratings