Knuckle Sandwich by Bootlegger’s Brewing

Knuckle Sandwich by Bootlegger's Brewery, California

(C) 2016 popsonhops

Tasting: April 23, 2016
Style: Triple IPA
Beer #: 922
ABV: 10%

Knuckle Sandwich

I’m a “big” beer person, well, figuratively (maybe literally too). I like beer with big viscosity, big flavor and rich with complexities. If I had to pick my favorite style – it would be stout (barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout to be specific). I’d peg imperial IPA (aka double or DIPA) as a close second.

Knuckle Sandwich is considered a double IPA (or DIPA as the label indicates). It checks in at a robust 10% alcohol by volume (ABV) and that’s a really big beer. Labeling anything a double, triple or even a quad would mean the beer has an elevated ABV when compared to a basic brew in the same style. These terms come from Belgian monasteries as they would mark barrels of ale with crosses and each additional cross signified increased alcoholic strength. It isn’t linear or an exact science as a double isn’t twice the alcohol. My own estimation for IPA and their varying strengths – a regular IPA might check in at about 5.5% to 7% ABV and an imperial or double IPA might be 7% – 8.5%. I’d consider a triple to be 9% plus. I’d think Knuckle Sandwich would qualify more as a triple but the brewer has labeled it a double.

This bottle of Knuckle Sandwich comes from Bootlegger’s Brewery, located in a Los Angeles suburb. The brewery’s distribution is limited to southern California. This beer came as an extra in a trade that centered around my acquisition of a Mocha Wednesday in exchange for Dogfish Head 120 and a Bell’s Black Note.

Despite what the label says, this beer has many characteristics of a triple IPA (ala Devil Dancer by Founders). The high ABV should give this beer a rich viscosity and it does. It couples with a rich caramel malt base to deliver a syrupy mouthfeel. I also expected and received a resinous and earthy and pine hop. Boozy warmth creeps in a tad but doesn’t detract from the experience. This is an enjoyable beer one that I enjoyed over the course of a Saturday evening. 93 points.

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