Bo & Luke - Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse

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Bo & LukeBo & Luke

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

609 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 609
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 10.3%
Wants: 300
Gots: 201 | FT: 32
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: 609 | Reviews: 58 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
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!

Photo of kylehay2004
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Knapp85
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -18%

Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -18%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a really really darn good beer. its a rich lathery dense stout, with just enough sweetness, a big bold grain base with a ton of roast to it, dark cocoa, coffee, and tobacco notes app prominent, and its aged in barrels once housing some of the best whiskey on the planet. whats to complain about right? well, for me, and I love smoked beers, but this is way too much smoke for a pappy barrel. it might as well have been jim beam at this point, you smoke it so much that the nuance of the finer spirit cant really appreciate to the fullest. I mean obviously things like mouthfeel and sweetness levels are aided by a good whiskey barrel, but I just don't get the uniqueness and specialness of it coming through. it should be amazing in that regard and its not because the smoke is too strong. that said, the smoked flavor is great, perfect for late fall and early winter, the alcohol is shockingly absent from such a strong ale, and the overall beer is downright fantastic, but I wish they scaled that aspect back a little more so that we could really enjoy what pappy barrel does for a beer like this, it just seems a shame to me, as much as I do like this beer...

Photo of TMoney2591
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
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...

Photo of nickfl
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of oline73
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of MasterSki
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of beernads
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of DrunkinYogi
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of InspectorBob
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -6.3%

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Bo & Luke from Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
95 out of 100 based on 609 ratings.