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Bo & Luke - Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse

Not Rated.
Bo & LukeBo & Luke

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

503 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 503
Reviews: 53
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 10.28%
Wants: 276
Gots: 154 | FT: 22
Brewed by:
Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse visit their website
Kentucky, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  14.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Originally an Against the Grain Brewery and Brouwerij De Molen collaboration beer. For the first incarnation, De Molen head brewer Menno Oliver hopped in a muscle car and drove straight through from the Netherlands to Louisville, KY (that's USA folks) to brew this bourbon inspired ale, and we liked it so much, we decided to do it again. We took the ingredients in bourbon whiskey (Barley, Rye, Corn) and then smoked them with cherry wood and brewed a huge imperial stout with them. Then to top it off we aged it in Pappy VanWinkle Bourbon Barrels. The resulting beer is rich, smokey and complex, with a bourbon character of caramel, vanilla and spice.

(Beer added by: TMoney2591 on 10-08-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 503 | Reviews: 53 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at the post-FWIBF bottle share held at the Adelaide Inn in Paso Robles, CA.

Pours a clear super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, smoked malt, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa, smoke, and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a nice balance of smoke and bourbon barrel aged qualities.

UCLABrewN84, Jun 05, 2014
Photo of Jeffo
3.13/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Got this as a surprise bottle from claaark13 a while back. Cheers dude! Was always a huge Duke Boys fan when I was a kid.

From a 750 into a snifter
Impossible orange wax on this one.

APPEARANCE: Pours out clear brown and yields a two finger, looser looking, light tan head with very good retention. Clear bistre brown in color with higher levels of carbonation for the style. Head slowly fades to a full wisp. A foamy ring remains until the end leaving a few dots of lacing down the glass. Too light in color and an average-at-best-head.

SMELL: Roasted and smoked malts with bourbon, coconut, sweet vanilla and dark chocolate on the nose. Light soy notes and smoked meat with touches of caramel and molasses as well. Very bold and nicely complex as well. Good stuff.

TASTE: Very different and relatively disappointing compared to the nose. Lots of caramel, licorice and soy sauce up front with bourbon and alcohol into the swallow. A big and lingering finish of bourbon, alcohol, smoked malts, coconut, vanilla and a hint of bitter dark chocolate as well. Licorice, smoked and roasted grain with bourbon and oak linger. Flavorful, but the licorice and soy flavors made it less pleasant than the nose. Doesn't quite match the complexity I'd expected.

PALATE: Slightly thinner body with higher levels of carbonation. Not really creamy, a touch prickly perhaps, goes down okay and finishes slightly mouth-coating. Some heat lingers. Sub par, unfortunately.

OVERALL: This was okay, but nothing special. Certainly glad I didn't bug people for the entire set of these. The nose was certainly nice, but the flavor didn't match the complexity I'd expected and the feel was too thin and carbonated for the style. Not a bad beer per se, just not something worth writing home about. Thanks again for the box claaark13. Always good times.

Jeffo, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of MasterSki
4.19/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Green Lady. Served in a 5oz taster glass.

A - Medium, creamy, tan foam that lingers, leaving behind specks of lace. Very dark brown body with a hint of transparency at the edges of the glass.

S - Big vanilla, bourbon, dark breads, light smoke, hefty doses of milled grains, caramel, and dark fruits.

T - The taste is similarly sweet and and heavy on vanilla, caramel, dark fruit, and dark chocolate. The bourbon character is very Pappy-esque in the high level of sweet oxidation and sherry-esque character to it. There's some smoke, but it's quite restrained.

M - Big, chewy, sticky, and viscous. Some mild tannins, but definitely more on the sticky side. Lower carbonation. Well-hidden alcohol for 14%; I would have guessed closer to 10%. Quite nice for the style.

D - A good beer in small portions, but it'd take me a while to work through a snifter. The smoke is quite nuanced, which I appreciate, and there's good balance between malt, bourbon, and barrel. Not quite as good as 70k, but well worth trying.

MasterSki, Jun 03, 2013
Photo of BEERchitect
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

De Nolen is the master at ultimate roast taste in beer. Yet Against the Grain explores the anti-expected hit that's certain to arise in their beers. The blend is certain to be be an imperial stout, but with a twist...

It's abyss-black pour is given on site with a dark beer that is as deep as any other. It's just like staring into nothing. Yet there's something in there; and it rises to form a frothy mocha head, full of both loosely-knit, and tightly woven bubbles- all complementing the beer's durable retention and broken lace.

If the style prescription is to pile on as many aromas as possible, then Bo and Luke has delivered! Robust roasted grains push the scent of campfire, burnt embers, cocoa, bold roast coffee, and charred fruit- currants, grapes and berries all fold into the beer's roasty and savory matrix.

And yet the flavors deliver all that, but in different balances. What starts out with burnt malt sugars of black-strap molasses, coffee, and bittersweet chocolate quickly turns to a semi-strong taste of smoky meats, mesquite, charcoal, and burnt fruit. Grilled berries, currants, plumbs, figs, and grapes suggest both peaty scotch and vinous red wines. It's a complex taste that finishes with a woody bitterness that extends with bourbon-like alcohol sweetness, mild vanilla, caramel, and baked coconut.

Incredibly, the beer rests upon its robust malt body that facilitates early sweetness with creamy and semi-arid textures. But as the beer extends into middle palate it dries and turns powdery while remaining semi-sweet. Alas, the finish closes the session with a firm roasty, (some would say ashy, texture that's anchored with chalky roast, broad alcohol warmth, and semi-dry spice.

Bo & Luke absolutely captures the essence of both De Molen's best and Against the Grain's best attempts at beer. Its and experimental ale, an absurdly robust ale, and a cellar contender for years to come. Whimsy and power align for a complete strong taste!

BEERchitect, Feb 20, 2013
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4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

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4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

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4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

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4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

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4.44/5  rDev +3.7%

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4.75/5  rDev +11%

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4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

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4/5  rDev -6.5%

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4/5  rDev -6.5%

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4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

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4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

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4.75/5  rDev +11%

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4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

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4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

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4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

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4.32/5  rDev +0.9%

Poured from a 750 ml into a Bullfrog Le Roar snifter.

A- Black with some light coming through on the edges. Finger of brown foam lingers for a bit, though eventually fades.

S- Plenty of smoked wood and sweet vanilla. Roast is minimal, but present. Sweet chocolates with a hint of bourbon.

T- Really smooth, sweet chocolate, with some smoke flavors and more vanilla. Quite sweet, yet manages to avoid being cloying.

M- Not the greatest body, but I think a thicker body would make this difficult to drink, so it works out. Medium carb, medium mouthfeel. Smooth.

O- I really enjoyed this beer. It's a 2013 and has aged wonderfully. Would be glad to drink it again.

jbwimer, Aug 29, 2014
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Bo & Luke from Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
95 out of 100 based on 503 ratings.