Bo & Luke - Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
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Ratings: 483 | Reviews: 53 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by kevanb:
4.46/5 rDev +4.2%
Served in a snifter on tap at Local Option in Chicago. For those that don't know, this was aged in Pappy van Winkle barrels.
The beer pours a wonderful deep black color, hues of dark brown are certainly apparent, intensely opaque. A mocha colored head with tight knit bubbles rises to the top of the glass, easily a finger high that has fantastic retention and leaves behind a great web of lace as well as a significant amount of film atop the beer once the head does recede completely. The aroma is wonderful, lots of roasted coffee and charred wood, the smoke is such a great layer that plays well with the dark chocolate malt, but is still a bit abrasive, the bourbon is smooth and rich, no astringency with sweet chocolate and alcohol at the finish. The flavors are even more complex, lots of roasted coffee, charred wood like the nose led on, but the smoke is much less abrasive, plays so well with the chocolate, toasted malt. The bourbon is perfect, smooth, rich, brings out hints of vanilla and toffee sweetness that counterbalances the harsher roast elements. The body is wonderful, big and rich, coats the mouth very well, borderline creamy, a slightly drier finish than I'd like, but it's just about perfect.
Verdict: Wonderful stout that only got more complex and flavorful as it warmed. The PvW treatment is just as good as any high profile beer I've tried be it Rare, BA Dark Lord or King Henry and the smokiness is just as great as a beer like Barfly. This was a real treat to enjoy and I hope to have the chance to enjoy it again.
11-06-2012 19:32:30 | More by kevanb
More User Reviews:
4.25/5 rDev -0.7%
Thanks to Mike for splitting this gem! A smoked beer aged in Pappy barrels... what could go wrong? Pours a deep brown, teetering on the edge of black, but certainly not there just yet. The beer sits, thick and still with a quickly receding head that's a few hues lighter than tan. No lacing left on the glass; just the slightest bit of alcohol legging upon swirling.
Bo & Luke hits your nostrils like a sack of potatoes; nothing to hide, here. Rustic, woody smoke, both meaty and peaty, mild liquid sweet smoke, oak, smooth and warming bourbon, a bit of underlying, sweet roasted malt, and even a little bit of caramel and/or brown sugar. A very old times-y feeling brew with lots to offer. The oak, the smoke, the meat, the bourbon... a unique combination of aromas - I'm digging it so far.
Pleasantly warm bourbon greets my taste buds with the first sip; none other than Pappy Van Winkle. No, I wouldn't have been able to guess "Pappy" just from the taste, but knowing this fact afterwards helps to justify the smoothness. Sweet, liquid smoke, a subtle campfire woodiness, light cocoa malt mixed with burnt, roasty malt... The taste, much like the aroma, has so much to offer that it would be easy to overlook something if you don't pay attention!
Very smoky, woody (oaky) and lightly sweet in the finish with a touch of cocoa, while the mild bourbon warmth is left, lingering in the back of your through. Yeah, the warmth is there, but it's surprisingly drinkable for 14% ABV. Medium bodied... I would expect heavier or thicker for the style, but it works well here; borderline sticky, with a lasting mouth coating that'll keep you tasting smoke and bourbon for a while.
When Mike first pulled this out and told us what it was... I didn't really know what to expect. But damn, this beer was pretty tasty. Like sitting around a warm campfire, smoking some delicious meats and taking a few shots of bourbon. Smooth, warm, oaky bourbon. I don't think I've had anything quite like this before, so it definitely gets brownie points for uniqueness. Tasty and drinkable considering the style - thanks again, Mike!
09-26-2013 00:30:06 | More by tectactoe
4.33/5 rDev +1.2%
Enjoyed after about a 14 mile and 2000+' climb on my road bike with @commanderofawesome. 'Twas a somewhat cold and foggy day on Mt Tamalpias and we nededed to warm up a tad. Good thing we had this waiting.
As you can tell, poured into unbreakable Dixie cups, so no clue as to color or lacing but suffice it to say it was black and the lacing, much like the enjoyment of this delicious RIS, stuck around a while...once I got the plastic cap off. I came prepared with my fire fighter issue Swiss Army knife which has a 4" saw blade as no civilian knife can get tho off.
The aroma and nose on this beer is amazing. Rye, some smoke an some barrel and a whole lot of goodness. As we warmed (us and the beer) this got even better...more of the rye, smoke and barrel.
Much like the ride, I enjoyed the hell out of this beer. Lots of build up and worth the effort.
Even at $28, I'd grab it again.
Just like the show of old: open, sit back and enjoy for 23 minutes. You'll love it
04-14-2014 13:40:51 | More by SanFranJake
4.45/5 rDev +4%
A - Dark chocolate brown with a small milk chocolate head on tap
S - Bacon, chocolate, light smoke, salt, butterscotch pappy
T - Butterscotch, bourbon, vanilla, and dark chocolate before a salty bacon comes thru. Finish is dark, astrigent chocolate
M - Rich chocolate creaminess with a slight astringent finish and as well as dark chocolate thickness that lingers on in the finish
O - One of the better smoke beers I've had as the smoke blends well with the rest of the beer. It tastes like chocolate covered bacon with a light butterscotch pappy presence
01-14-2014 22:22:24 | More by jeonseh
4.29/5 rDev +0.2%
Pours extremely dark brown to pitch black. Generous mocha head and moderate lacing.
Aroma initially chocolate icing. Smokehouse meat, sweet malt, trace bourbon, cherry syrup and vanilla.
My initial taste is reminiscent of smoked bacon. Once I get past that, uh hmm, smooth bourbon heat ensues. I definitely pick up on cherry, corn syrup, vanilla and charred oak. Can charred oak be appealing? I dunno. The bourbon is one of the finest/smoothest blended with a stout, can't say enough.
Mouthfeel is thick and creamy. Carbonation is ample. Sticky residue on the lips.
Without the smokiness this would be an absolute near perfect. If you love smoke this is for you to try. I knew this was smoky before I picked this up but I love trying things I may not find appealing. All in all this is spectacular in its own right. Not necessarily turning me into Rauchbier territory but glad I tried.
03-01-2014 22:03:54 | More by joeseppy
Bo & Luke from Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
95 out of 100 based on 483 ratings.