Knuckle Sandwich by Bootleggers

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Knuckle Sandwich by Bootleggers is a 10%ABV World Class Double/Imperial India Pale Ale

Label: 
This is a beer that truly lives up to its name! Brewed with copious amounts of North American hops, this Double IPA has a colossal hop profile and an aggressive aroma. Helping round out the floral and citrus notes is a huge malt backbone that provides a great mouth feel to this heavyweight hitter.
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First had this at King’ Row Gastropub in Pasadena California. Back then I wasn’t aware how great and very sought after this beer was. It is brewed locally here in Fullerton California but even the demand for this beer is insane. By the time I wanted a bottle to review, it was sold out pretty much everywhere. I went to the local liquor store in the street where I grew up since I knew back then they had some nice beers but had not been back there since 2011. To my surprise, there it was, the Elusive Knuckle Sandwich. Even so, there was not many left and I am sure they would be gone soon enough. Didn’t hesitate to get this one to be able to do a good review and bring this one forth in another one of my Art and Beer pairings.

Aromas are very tropical and grassy. Grassy, piney, citrus, floral and grapefruit hops, pineapple, mango, papaya, kumquats, lychees, peaches, guavas, dragon fruit, melon, a scent of plum, orange, lemon, biscuit bread, caramel, pepper notes and mint.

The Flavors are of Caramel, sweet bread, vanilla, rich grassy, herbal, piney and chewy hops, followed by very nice tropics of oranges, pineapple, mango, plum notes, cherry notes, papaya, kumquats, lychees, peaches, dragon fruit, apricots, guavas, very mild banana notes and honey dew melon. The aftertaste lingers with a lot of tropics and herbal hops. The alcohol is somewhat hidden does not detract from the beer’s flavor. In fact, it adds like a honey flavor as well. It is quite balanced for sure.

This beer is essentially what hop head dreams are made it. This beer does not disappoint and it is as awesome as the last time I remember it even though I had it fresher back in March. It a fist full of awesome IPA goodness. Dare I call this one, Heady Topper the 2nd? Yes, I just did. The balance is phenomenal and if you are mainly into more tropical IPAs, then this one is to try. I myself love Tropical IPAs as well as Super hop bitter ones as well. This would be in my top list of awesome Double IPAs along with Ruination, Pliny the Elder, Double Jack, Hop Stoopid, Hangar 24’s Double IPA and others I have reviewed so far. A great example in great west coast double IPAs

 

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The Maharaja from the Dictator Series by Avery Brewing

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The Maharaja from the Dictator Series by Avery Brewing is a 10.4%ABV Double India Pale Ale

Label: 
Maharaja is derived from the sanskrit words mahat, – “great” and rajan – “king”. Much like its namesake, this imperial IPA is regal, intense and mighty. With hops and malts as his servants, he rules both with a heavy hand. The Maharaja flaunts his authority over a deranged amount of hops: tangy, vibrant and pungent along with an insane amount of malted barley – fashioning a dark amber hue and exquisite malt essence. This newest Avery Dictator completes the “Dictator Series” joining the likes of The Kaiser & The Czar. Be aware that The Maharaja is a limited release only available for the summer. Welcome to his kingdom! 
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This is considered a world class IPA according to a lot of Reviews standing at 102 IBUs. Upon opening the bottle, there was very nice tropical fruit fragrance that overwhelmed. The aromas have a more sweet tropical fruits like pineapple, mango, peach, orange juice, and rich caramel base coming forward followed by the floral, grassy, piney and grapefruit hops, garlic and onion bread scent, but very nice along with some herbs and spices. The flavors are similar to the fragrance of this one which are of caramel, grassy, piney, floral, and grapefruit hops, some peach, pineapple, garlic and sweet onion bread, biscuit bread, toffee, strawberries, flowers, some peppers, herbs and other nice spices. It surely quite the DIPA. While it doesn’t focus all the way into the regions of tropics, it has enough to balance the other herbs, spices and strong hops allowing for a very bitter but extra sweet beer. It leaves off pretty dry which is interesting for 102 IBUs. Doesn’t leave a lot of bitterness so it allows you to take even more sweetness next time around. Surely a great DIPA to get and one that is best fresh!