Bootlegger's Knuckle Sandwich

Discussion in 'Pacific' started by fox227, Dec 17, 2013.

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  1. fox227

    fox227 Initiate (0) Nov 19, 2010 California

    Being in the distribution area for this beer, I always kept my eye out for it, seeing that it's rated so highly around here. Last night I had the opportunity to drink it on tap and I have to admit that I don't get the hype on this at all. It was a "good" beer, and pretty damn smooth for 10% abv, but mostly I found the beer to be overly malty without much distinction in the hop presence. Was my palate simply having a bad day? Sometimes certain beers taste off to me on certain days, but overall I'd have to say that the average new DIPA that I have regularly at Pizza Port Carlsbad is far superior and much easier to get. On a side note, Rip Current's two new DIPAs, In the Curl and Caught in a Rip are pretty awesome.
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  2. Drucifer

    Drucifer Devotee (406) Apr 16, 2012 Illinois

    Sounds like you may have had a bad pour or something. This beer is crazy hoppy and very delicious. I'd say since you are in the ditro try and grab a bottle with a fresh date.
  3. azorie

    azorie Champion (892) Mar 18, 2006 Florida

    nitro maybe? hard to say I once had a beer on tap that was so different (versus the bottle) I could have bet big it was a different beer, they said I was wrong, oh well. it happens.

    as for the hype you cannot taste that, at least I cannot.
  4. fox227

    fox227 Initiate (0) Nov 19, 2010 California

    I had three beers, at Churchill's, and I hadn't been there for a while. One thing I noticed was that all the pours had very fine, nitro like heads, but none were advertised as such. It must be the CO2 pressure settings on the kegs. KS was the first beer I had, so my palate was fresh.
  5. lakeylake

    lakeylake Initiate (0) Oct 29, 2013 California

    Did you have it at Bootleggers? Their newest batch recently came out, but according to their FB page it sounded like it was only available at their tasting room.
  6. fox227

    fox227 Initiate (0) Nov 19, 2010 California

    No, Churchill's.
  7. jasonmason

    jasonmason Initiate (191) Oct 6, 2004 California

    KS was always a good DIPA, but for some reason the hype wagon got hitched to it for about a year and it went nuts. Not great, but still quite good. I've always felt that Bootlegger's batch inconsistency kept it from being, well, consistently very good...but maybe that's just me.

    I have had the same palate issue, where certain beers will come across differently time to time. I just chalk it up to the vagaries of life and try it again another time; multiple instances of it being 'different' tell me it's the beer, not me.
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  8. lakeylake

    lakeylake Initiate (0) Oct 29, 2013 California

    Sorry, I didn't see your post above. Maybe it was an older batch? Bootleggers' most recent batch seems like it was only available in their tasting room, at least according to their FB page. I do like Knuckle Sandwich -- I remember it having a healthy malt backbone, but with lots of hops as well.
  9. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado

    The OPs problem is why I always try to have 2 of a new beer. Alot easier when it's bottled or canned as opposed to on tap. Knuckle Sandwich has been on my find and try list for quite a while. Maybe someday.
  10. SirElton

    SirElton Initiate (180) Feb 24, 2011 California

    I will echo that Bootlegger's does struggle with some batch consistency, and I think what you are describing sounds a lot like the batch I had 2 months or so where I thought the malts were a little heavy-handed. I've probably had KS a dozen times, and it's usually an above average DIPA with strong malts and pronounced hops, yet remains smooth. A pleasure to drink when I come across it on my bi-monthly OC beer tour, but I'm not lining up for a taste whenever it's released.
  11. Tdizzle

    Tdizzle Zealot (522) Dec 19, 2006 California

    It's a good beer, but there are much better DIPA's out there, IMHO. To be honest, I live about 8 miles from Bootlegger's and I refuse to go there. Knuckle Sandwich is the only beer from them that I have enjoyed, and I downright dislike almost everything else they brew (Rustic Rye is the best rye IPA they could come up with???).
  12. 01Ryan10

    01Ryan10 Initiate (0) Sep 10, 2011 California

    Knuckle used to be amazing up until roughly 18 months ago. It went from amazing to good just before the tap room moved to the newer location.

    It used to have a super mango/peach aroma along with some very strong astringency. Last time I tried it, about 18 months ago, it was severely lacking this. I tried it again about 12 months ago, and it was still lacking what it used to be.

    When Chris reviewed it, he described it spot on. This is when it was at its pinnacle. It no longer smells or tastes like the review Chris did.

  13. gshak

    gshak Zealot (532) Feb 20, 2011 Texas

  14. 01Ryan10

    01Ryan10 Initiate (0) Sep 10, 2011 California

    This thread is making me think I should give it another try after a 12 month layoff from it. Why do I get the feeling quality declined when they started producing a lot more. More adjuncts and less hops in the recipe these days?
  15. fox227

    fox227 Initiate (0) Nov 19, 2010 California

    All those hop aroma/flavor descriptors was basically what I want out of a DIPA and they seemed so muted. I *did* have a bad allergy day, but I have those all the time and I am usually very easy to impress with local IPAs. I'm going to assume that my pour, based on other replies, is that this was a case of batch inconsistency, plus factor in my allergy problem.
  16. a74gent

    a74gent Aspirant (295) Mar 16, 2010 Massachusetts

    If this beer has declined, I will have to give my vote to KRBC Citra as the most bombass DIPA...Ok, it doesn't matter what has happened to Knuckle Sandwich, KRBC is still the nuts.
  17. gshak

    gshak Zealot (532) Feb 20, 2011 Texas

    I hear ya. Did you take any allergy medicines? Because those will definitely throw off your senses of smell and taste. It is a great beer that's worth trying, although the maltiness and alcohol content can be a bit overbearing, especially if you are trying to finish off a whole bomber in one sitting, like i did :-(
  18. UnknownKoger

    UnknownKoger Zealot (577) Jul 9, 2010 California

    yeah KS has been off for a while. I remember going to Bootlegger's a couple of years ago and waiting in a long line to buy it. Now, I'd rather have Lupulin Thrill. Hopefully KS gets back on track
  19. Crazydaddyo

    Crazydaddyo Initiate (150) May 18, 2011 California

    Bootleggers are still using there 7 barrel brew kettle to brew KS. When they scale it up to fill their 30 barrel fermenter, it takes them several batches to fill it. By the time the fermenter is full, a good portion of the wort has been sitting in the fermenter. That effects the hop balance and makes the beer taste different then when they would brew smaller batches in the old brewery with smaller fermenters. They have a bigger brew kettle on order. When it is put on line, I would suspect that KS will go back to it's wonderful self.
  20. fox227

    fox227 Initiate (0) Nov 19, 2010 California

    I never take allergy meds anymore. :slight_smile: I really enjoyed the shredded duck BLT!
  21. Earlycsquid

    Earlycsquid Devotee (489) Jan 7, 2013 California

    Hopefully so. I thought that when they ramped up production, the quality really went down. Yeah, just slightly before they moved to the new location - those last couple of releases were really off compared to how amazing it once tasted.
  22. PlinyTheYoungest

    PlinyTheYoungest Initiate (124) Jun 30, 2009 California

    It isn't just Knuckle Sandwich, the quality in many of their beers seems to have taken a dive. Black Phoenix these days has this sour milk smell and off taste at the tasting room and when I brought it to their attention they said it seemed fine to them. Had some Missile Crisis a couple weeks ago and it had the same thing going on. I don't know if they aren't cleaning the lines or something else is to blame for the off flavors lately.
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  23. MiScusi

    MiScusi Meyvn (1,030) Feb 12, 2005 California

    You're pretty right on in my opinion.... although to me it's not even a "good" DIPA... way too cloying. My friends and I think it's the most overrated beer on the planet along with 90 min. I've had it fresh at the brewery too, over 2 years ago when it was supposedly at it's "Prime"
  24. JNBeer

    JNBeer Initiate (0) Aug 14, 2005 California

    LOL, I work less than 2 miles from it and I don't go there either...unfortunately.
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  25. Tdizzle

    Tdizzle Zealot (522) Dec 19, 2006 California

    Yep. They're really mediocre. Noble Ale Works and The Bruery are my go-to spots in my area. It looks like Bottle Logic and Hoparazzi are going to be opening 2 miles from my apartment in Placentia; as if I needed another excuse to never visit Bootlegger's.
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  26. JNBeer

    JNBeer Initiate (0) Aug 14, 2005 California

    Nice! I have been to Bruery and its amazing. I normally visit Hollingshead and Pizza Port.
  27. Tdizzle

    Tdizzle Zealot (522) Dec 19, 2006 California

    Noble is my local favorite. They brew a few fantastic beers, and they're not dicks about it. The Bruery can't be beat (in LA/OC) for sours and barrel-aged madness. Pizza Port is fantastic, but the closet one to me is in San Clemente. Hollingshead's is cool, but they charge too much and their sandwiches are small. Still, I go there often. Honestly, I can't wait for Bottle Logic and Hoparazzi to open. Hoping they're good.
  28. jmerriken

    jmerriken Initiate (28) Jan 15, 2008 California

    I had KS for the first time 3+ years ago and never, ever understood the hype! It's like it was the first time a bunch of OC bros had a 10%+ beer and they only loved it because it has a cool name and gets them wasted. Drink it side by side to any comparable DIPA (Double Jack, Enjoy By, ect...) not even in the same ballpark.
  29. PlinyBeMiney

    PlinyBeMiney Aspirant (248) Jan 12, 2011 California

    The one time I tried it (about 1 year ago) it almost burned my face off with a strong fusel alcohol taste. I love DIPA's and hadn't had a beer in 3 weeks when I tried it so I really hoped my palate would have been reset. Instead it was almost impossible to drink.
  30. UnknownKoger

    UnknownKoger Zealot (577) Jul 9, 2010 California

    Hoparazzi is amazing. Their Mission Impechable is probably the best sour beer I've ever had. It's unbelievable
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  31. ChrisYarborough

    ChrisYarborough Initiate (0) Oct 16, 2012 Texas

    when I had it 6 months ago it was very heavy taste wise on the malt and alcohol. I immediately drain poured and opened a Dreadnaught instead.
    jmerriken likes this.
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