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Bo & Luke - Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse

Bo & LukeBo & Luke

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

354 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 354
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 10.98%


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: 354 | Reviews: 42 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of arusso13
arusso13

Connecticut

4.69/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Reviewed from notes. Enjoyed on-tap at The Owl Farm in Brooklyn.

A: One finger, quick fading khaki head. Pitch black in color.

S: Bourbon immediately hits you, giving way to coffee and chocolate. Faint smell of smoke.

T: Sweetness up front (think milk chocolate, caramel, toasted marshmallow), followed by slight bourbon notes (but very little burn). Smokiness plus added sweetness on the back end. Very drinkable despite it's high ABV.

M: Not as full-bodied as I would expect, little carbonation.

O: A very complex, well done BA stout. Worth seeking out if given the opportunity.

Serving type: on-tap

01-13-2014 17:41:37 | More by arusso13
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner

Kentucky

4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured viscous and smooth with virtually no carbonation in the body this stout had an opal like hue. The head was thick and brown and rose slowly from the top until it muffined above the rim.

The aromas were chocolatey with some strong malt character. Vinous fruit and bourbon provide almost a texture to the scent.

The flavor is incredibly diverse with constantly changing complexity at every sip. The chocolate is certainly the backbone with caramel, praline and molasses. I also caught glimpses of chocolate covered cherries, honeycomb, pecan, maple, woodsy oak, vanilla and ever so slight dry coconut. The dried fruitiness was evident but I was unable to identify just which ones. With all that I still tasted some strong malt and a hint of bourbon.

The feel was a tad astringent with a piney metallic aftertaste and feel. The overall feel was not nearly as thick and viscous as the appearance would suggest.

This is a fantastic beer with all the subtleties and nuances beer lovers look for and proof that ATG is the real deal.

Serving type: on-tap

09-26-2013 23:24:33 | More by KYGunner
Photo of Vegasbeer
Vegasbeer

Nevada

4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the brewery, September 14, 2013. Served in a snifter. Creamy colored 1" head, excellent lacing. Appearance was dark and oily. Smell was bourbon, caramel. Taste was slightly sweet, subtle smoke, light bourbon, vanilla. Alcohol was not overbearing, despite being 13-14%. Has a smooth mouthfeel, light carbonation. Was fortunate enough to try a couple of variants on this trip, including port barrel aged and the peanut butter from the Bo and Luke 4 pack. This beer lives up the hype. Delicious.

Serving type: on-tap

09-19-2013 04:16:12 | More by Vegasbeer
Photo of Mikecap
Mikecap

Louisiana

4.51/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

End of the keg, about a 6-7 ounce pour, for free!

Appearance: Jet black with a thin dark brown head, solid retention with chunky lacing.

Smell: Oak, chocolate and a ton of smoke. Such a great aroma, with hints of the bourbon coming through as well, lots of sweetness to counteract that.

Taste: Silky smooth, chocolate, molasses and caramel, with notes of charred oak, bourbon, and more alcohol. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied but surprisingly smooth. Very easy drinking with little heat for its size. This was a small pour but quite easy to drink.

Overall: Fantastic beer that I'm glad I got to try. Worth seeking out this rare brew.

Serving type: on-tap

09-08-2013 02:16:10 | More by Mikecap
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at The Beer Temple, in Amsterdam.

Bo & Luke is black as the char inside the bourbon barrel in which it was aged. Dark as deep space, with a coffee-coloured head, the contents of the glass look thicker than concrete. It's obvious off the bat: this is not the beer to order if you're in the mood for something "normal".

Smelling the beer is akin to licking the inside of a charred oak barrel that still contains portions of its former alcoholic contents. The use of cherry wood smoked and rye malts really serve to accentuate the singe and spice of the bourbon (Pappy Van Winkle, by the way). Notwithstanding, there's far more to this Russian Imperial Stout than simply whiskey...

Bo & Luke drinks with exalted flavours of dark chocolate, vanilla cake, and cinnamon spice. These three flavours play out in order, again and again like clockwork with each mouthful before giving way to a very dry and smoky finish that subjugates a chunk (though by no means all) of the alcohol. It tastes a little like what the inside of a cigar box smells.

It's my experience that few beers can age more than a short period of time; this one could probably outlive you. At a not-so-hard-to-believe 14% alcohol, I savored my six ounce pour patiently. There's no other way to do it; each sip is formidable and rewarding in its grandeur.

Bourbon-barrel aged stouts can be monotonous, but Bo & Luke was truly special. Pappy Van Winkle is an expensive (several hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars/bottle) that is very rare and regarded as arguably the best bourbon in the world. I've never had the privilege of trying it but if its effects on this stout are any indication, its praise is warranted.

Serving type: on-tap

08-01-2013 13:24:54 | More by biegaman
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill

Connecticut

4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Tørst.

A: Black body, brown highlights, 1 inch of fine, creamy light brown head. Excellent retention and lacing, particularly for the strength. Gorgeous.

S: Enormous bourbon, vanilla, oak, and chocolate-covered raisins. The oak in particular is incredible.

T: Nutty vanilla oak up front, with delicious bourbon and chocolate midway through. Marshmallow, coffee, and more bourbon on the finish. Warming booze on the aftertaste, but alongside lingering coconut and vanilla. Wow.

M: Smooth, full bodied, and creamily carbonated. Lovely.

O: I hadn't heard of this beer before a friend ordered one, but the second I smelled his I ordered my own. This is one of the best Bourbon-barrel Stouts I've had in a while. Really intense, really great. Wish I could have it again.

Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

08-01-2013 00:07:15 | More by woosterbill
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MasterSki

Illinois

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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-03-2013 18:40:38 | More by MasterSki
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PHBoiler

Illinois

4.89/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On draft at Local Option in Chicago.

Jet black with a deep purple head that is maybe 1/4 inch. Lots of scents on the nose including coffee, dark chocolate, some bourbon, and fruitiness. The taste is sinful. So deep and smooth with sweetness that is apparent but not cloying. You get the vanilla from the bourbon and it enhances the sweetness. Only light coffee and limited dark chocolate on the finish. The front end has more of a dark/dried fruitiness. This is the 2nd beer I've had aged in Pappy barrels, and they've both been home runs. I had this beer after Baudonia, and this was just as good if not better. If you have the chance, make it a priority to taste this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

05-20-2013 14:17:22 | More by PHBoiler
Photo of RockAZ
RockAZ

Arizona

3.61/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

OMG! I thought I had just tasted bacon grease pressed through an espresso coffee machine! On the first sip... I warmed to it. The beer demands food that can fight back, which I did not have available. Still - Highly recommend you try this beer if you ever get the chance, it is so unique and others have described it better, you owe it to yourself to take it on.

Serving type: on-tap

03-27-2013 04:55:23 | More by RockAZ
Photo of magictacosinus
magictacosinus

California

4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

When I heard they were tapping this at Trappist Provisions the other night, I knew I HAD to check this out. My ultimate goal is to add a bottle of 20yr Pappy Van Winkel to my aspiring collection of spirits, so this would be the closest that I'd get so far to trying something that had some of its flavor. (Although, how long this spent in such barrels, I've no clue. My guess is a year, give or take.) Poured in a 6oz tumbler.

Contains, as expected, an opaque, blackened color with an off-khaki head that makes the beer resemble a glass of thick espresso over being an actual beer. Ridiculously monstrous alcohol legs on this thing, with such strength that nothing sticks to the sides of the glass. The head sticks around for a while, which is rather surprising. Perhaps the tap provides forced carbonation? I would have gladly had this served in a tulip glass instead, but it still looks rather intimidating even in the small tumbler.

The aroma is definitely everything I was expecting, and more - lots of candied notes resembling toffee, butterscotch, dark chocolate, and soaked woody vanilla flavors. Dark fruits, especially cherries, come out as this warms up. The barrels definitely did their job in enhancing the beer's complexity, perhaps to the point of overriding so many of the stout's flavors, such as the roasted malts and grains. I barely get any zest to speak of, but there is an undeniable stinging feeling on the nostrils, no doubt imparted by the large ABV. This definitely opens up as it warms, but as first it's definitely a dark chocolate coated bourbon aged drink to the max.

The flavor is a little bit more intense, in which the dark cocoa and woody soaked alcohol dryness really comes to full fruition. Lots of a vanilla in the finish, which is very much expected from the bourbon. The alcohol is pretty well concealed overall, and flavor eventually turns from woody to candied, to slightly bitter and roasted at the finish. Definitely the amount of high quality bourbon in this thing makes a lot of the beer's aspects slightly muted, but it's still pretty delicious. Lots of heat comes up at the finish from the alcohol, and I definitely had to have a glass of water alongside this in order to dispel the bone-dryness.

Very intense and intriguing take on the imperial stout style for once, although this is definitely on its road to being a hybrid. It isn't difficult to finish and I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though it did take me some time. Not sure how easy it is to come by, but I recommend this as a must try to bourbon and stout fans from all over. A good way to end a long day, for sure.

Serving type: on-tap

03-07-2013 06:49:52 | More by magictacosinus
Photo of EgadBananas
EgadBananas

Louisiana

4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Imperial smoked stout aged in Pappy barrels? Yes please.

Appearance: midnight black, minimal dark brown head.

Aroma: light smoke and charred barrel, bourbon, vanilla, booze, chocolate, coffee hints.

Taste: vanilla and chocolate, burnt toast, smoke, ash, alcohol, bourbon, molasses.

***Thick and chewy, full bodied, and it isn't too busy for the ABV. Never heard of this brewery before, but I'm not disappointed to see em.

Serving type: on-tap

02-25-2013 00:19:44 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

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!

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2013 08:01:26 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of jmarsh123
jmarsh123

Indiana

4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter at Zwanze Day at Holy Graile

Pours pitch black with a small beige ring of lacing on the edges.

Smells sublime. Lots of chocolate fudge with a small dose of bourbon. A bit of vanilla, coffee and oak as well.

Similar flavor. Lots of rich fudge flavor throughout. A good balance of coffee malts balance out the sweetness. Rounds out a bit oaky with a good kiss of bourbon. Extremely well integrated and not hot, but a bit warming. Smoke is where it should be. Subtle and no more. Great flavor profile.

Nice creamy mouthfeel. Carb level is lowish, but present and in line with the style.

I really hope this one ends up being made again. One of the best stouts I've had in a while and glad I got the chance to try it after not sampling it during FOBAB. Very complex layered flavors, but what makes it stand above the rest is the incredibly perfect integration of the bourbon.

Serving type: on-tap

12-03-2012 17:51:20 | More by jmarsh123
Photo of auroracrisis
auroracrisis

Kentucky

4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

Pours inky black with a small mocha ring around the edges.

The smell is cocoa nibs and whiskey. A touch of oak with some sweet fudge like aromas as well. Maybe some smoke as well but it is very subtle.

Big bourbon characteristics on the palate. Oak, vanilla, and booze with a hint of coffee and dark chocolate. Some fudge and dark fruit such as cherries come through too. A touch of smoke. Pretty excellent.

Medium bodies and sticky. Really kind of thin for a stout of this quality.

Overall, a great beer. Very surprised something of this caliber came out of my home town. Granted, its not Rare or PVW Dark Lord, but its still a very solid bourbon stout.

Serving type: on-tap

11-18-2012 15:23:49 | More by auroracrisis
Photo of kevanb
kevanb

Illinois

4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-06-2012 19:32:30 | More by kevanb
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BeerMeFitz

Illinois

3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on Tap at The Local Option Nov1st
In a snifter , room temp

Pours a jet black , little or no head but the little was a oak colored froth

Smells like a candied bourbon barrel with a hint of smoke

Taste is bourbon meets stout but very thin yet I'm Digging It

Over All a Nice job by this coollaabb of two great breweries ...Cheers !

Serving type: on-tap

11-02-2012 03:59:31 | More by BeerMeFitz
Photo of barczar
barczar

Kentucky

4.19/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque jet black color with a hint of a toffee head that quickly dissipates, leaving only a ring of foam around the circumference.

Sweet, boozy bourbon hits early in the aroma, accented later by woody, oak notes. Underlying those notes are chocolate, roast malt, and a touch of coffee. Deeper into the profile, hot tar and tobacco add complexity. Dark fruit scents of plums and bruised curries surface as it warms.

Initial flavor impression is almost overwhelming in complexity. Sweet, dark fruit carries throughout the profile, with cherries at the forefront. Bourbon, vanilla, and oak surface on another plane, fading to a roast malt, coffee finish. Intertwined throughout are comparatively subtle flavors of chocolate, malted milk balls, and soy sauce. Tobacco makes an appearance at the slightly bitter finish. Umami notes of soy sauce surface as it warms. There's some phenolic character present. Tar and tobacco join the party late.

Body is on the fairly viscous. Carbonation is minimal. There's a bit of alcohol warmth, but it's not indicative of the strength of the brew. It finishes slick and extremely smooth.

Overall, a very complex offering. I've never had Pappy bourbon, so I'm not sure where various flavors were derived. It's a lot fruitier than anticipated, with a good amount of bourbon character, as well. Lacks the anticipated strong roast/coffee flavors often associated with the style. It's a sipper, but not terribly obvious in the flavor. I think the malt character could've been a little stronger to provide a backbone for the other flavors. The fruitiness was somewhat overpowering. Still, a great beer.

Serving type: on-tap

10-16-2012 01:35:21 | More by barczar
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter at Au Cheval.

A PVW barrel-aged smoked imperial stout. Okay! This stuff pours a bleak onyx topped by a half-finger at best of tan foam. The nose comprises bourbon, roasted malts, dark chocolate syrup, oak, vanilla bean, and a kiss of char. The taste focuses mostly on the bourbon barrel, with the roast and molasses coming in a distant second, and a tiny bit of smoke clinging to the edges. This would usually be fine, but the bourbon seems to drown out any other flavors for most of the drinking experience. The body is a light hefty, with a very light moderate carbonation and a thick, chewy feel. Overall, an intense bit of beer, one that, considering how much it focuses on the bourbon aspect, hides its alcohol dangerously well...

Serving type: on-tap

10-08-2012 15:03:45 | More by TMoney2591
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SanFranJake

California

4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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.
[URL=http://s1355.photobucket.com/user/jake_white4/media/FF87AB7C-8DAC-4DCB-8384-B1304B116699_zpsexejt93m.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1355.photobucket.com/albums/q707/jake_white4/FF87AB7C-8DAC-4DCB-8384-B1304B116699_zpsexejt93m.jpg[/IMG][/URL]
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

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2014 13:40:51 | More by SanFranJake
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

No bottle date but this was released in the last month or so.

A: First off, this is the worst waxed cap I have ever seen. It doesn't feel like wax, it's like 1/4" thick plastic. It took a few minutes to chip off enough wax to get the bottle opener on this. Beer (finally) pours a pitch black with a tall, dense medium brown head. Head fades somewhat slowly, leaving almost no lacing at all. Quite good retention, however.

S: This is a heavy one for sure. Mellow caramel from the bourbon with a decent sweet chocolate. Smoky for sure but blends nicely, not overpowering. Nice vanilla on top of everything.

T: Notable bourbon but not too much. Very mellow but thick caramel coating. Loads of vanilla. Smoked malt doesn't stand out, it's crushed under the sweetness of the vanilla and caramel and even some chocolate. It's still a nice addition and adds complexity at the same time. Decent mixture of chocolate and a little coffee overtones with that smoked malt into the finish. Smokiness is most prominent in the finish and aftertaste where it lingers with some charred oak and more vanilla.

M: Mouthfeel on this one is amazing. Heavy, thick, super smooth and creamy. Sweet without being cloying. Viscous. Just wonderful. Might be the best of all time or at least in recent memory.

O: I am not a fan of smoked anything but this beers pull it off better than most. The heavy body and intense complexity really causes it to meld nicely instead of standing out like an ashtray dropped into your beer. The body on this one is absolutely incredible. It's hard to describe really. It's just got the right level of heaviness, viscosity and creaminess that makes it a dream as soon as you take a sip. Wonderful. Makes for an especially drinkable 13% barrel aged smoked stout!

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2014 05:06:48 | More by Dope
Photo of boilermakerbrew
boilermakerbrew

Missouri

4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours black as night with a small, tan head. Retention is ok, but lacing is pretty good. Not too much to say here, as it looks like most impy stouts do.

S- Lots of smoke, burnt malts, and just a touch of barrel there. Really a complex and unique nose here. There is some evidence of Belgian yeast I think.

T- Starts off smokey and burnt in the flavor department. The barrel flavor shows off a little bit of oak and more burnt flavor, with very little vanilla to speak of. Barrel is really subdued compared to the smokiness. Lingering barrel spiciness on the palate.

M- Smooth and think on the palate. Alcohol is the big hitter here, but it is hidden very well.

Overall, my favorite smoked beer to date. Really smooth, complex, and not too much barrel to overtake the flavors of the base beer. Next step. find the variants.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2014 00:09:52 | More by boilermakerbrew
Photo of Treyliff
Treyliff

West Virginia

4.69/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From the bottle to an oversized wine glass, Monk's Cafe Philladelphia

A- pours pitch black with a big frothy light-tan colored head that retains nicely, leaving thick lacing around the glass as it settles.

S- lots of bitter-sweet dark chocolate aromas with a big smoked cherrywood presence, spicy rye adds a subtle peppery notes, oaky bourbon juice kicks in just before closing with more chocolate and cherrywood

T- big chocolate notes up front mesh with just enough smoky malt, complimented by a prominent cherrywood flavor. Spicy rye kicks in, followed by a subtle-yet-smooth bourbon flavor with some toasted oak notes, adding a hint of vanilla. The bourbon is more of a compliment, rather than a focus, which works nearly perfectly. More chocolate kicks in on the finish with a long linger of dark cherry

M- medium-heavy body with low carbonation leads to a creamy and silky mouthfeel with an absolute smooth finish. I can't believe that this beer is nearly 14% ABV, as it drinks more like 8%.

O- so impressed with this one, the smokiness of the malt mesh so well with the chocolate flavors, the rye adds a nice spiciness and the bourbon is perfectly integrated. This is the best beer I've had in a while

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2014 13:16:29 | More by Treyliff
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JohnnyHopps

Indiana

4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Black like well used motor oil. A slight mocha head lined the sides of the glass.

Smell - The bourbon aroma comes to the front, but the acidity of the smoke is also very present.

Taste - There is a lot going on here. Smoke, bourbon, burnt sugar, sweet malt, raisin, and sweet syrup. What is absolutely remarkable about this one is how well balanced the smoke and bourbon go together, like they were made for each other. The sweet malt backbone makes both stand out all the better. In the aftertaste, the bourbon warms nicely amid the mild bite of bourbon.

Mouthfeel - This is a thick and sticky stout that clings nicely to the roof and sides of the mouth. Remarkably smooth, there is nothing harsh about this one.

Overall - I do not say this lightly. Seek this beer. It is one of the most remarkable beers I have had in quite some time.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2014 17:02:00 | More by JohnnyHopps
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joeseppy

Illinois

4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2014 22:03:54 | More by joeseppy
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Jeffo

Netherlands

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2014 15:16:34 | More by Jeffo
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Bo & Luke from Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
95 out of 100 based on 354 ratings.