Bo & Luke - Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
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Ratings: 441 | Reviews: 50 | Display Reviews Only:
4.49/5 rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
I’ve heard great things about this beer, and about Against the Grain in general; thankfully, I was able to snag a bottle when a case of this stuff showed up in town. I’ve been waiting for some real down time to crack it open, and now I’ve got nothing to do but enjoy a great drink – cheers!
A: Pours fizzy and without that thick syrupiness you’d expect in such a huge stout: the head, though fleeting, is no more than a dark brown collection of popping bubbles when present. Interesting. Pitch black body.
S: Bacon and booze, a winning combination. Actually, it’s more of a honey-glazed ham note – sweet and meaty – among a menagerie of corn, cedar sawdust, and intense rye whiskey scents. If that was it, you could call it robust, but there’s much more there: charcoal, burnt toffee, Hershey’s syrup, and blackcurrant, among others. Every little space in this nose is filled with rich, complex aromatics.
T: A palate that’s brimming with delicate flavor; this is truly a gourmet beer. Dense, bittersweet fudge and toasty-sweet caramel corn provide a blanket of natural, earthy sugariness, first in line. The meaty char and salted pork tastes of smoked malt then start to creep up, giving contrast without becoming the dominant flavor. In fact, there is no dominant flavor to this beer – it’s balanced exceptionally well (and, thus, insanely drinkable). The middle is a duet of bold bourbon and wood, a mellow warmth. Toward the finish, the campfire starts to come out, causing an aftertaste as pleasing as ever: smooth smoke. This is an exquisite beer – it tastes just like fine chocolate, intricate and dark.
M: Full-bodied, but only to an extent: it has a subtly fizzy carbonation and a body that could be described as moderately-creamy. First impressions are that it’s a bit thin, actually, but it ends up filling out a little more as it warms. And for a beer that’s aged in bourbon for three months, its burn is pretty mellow. No fire from a whiskey as nice as Pappy, I guess.
O: Kentucky, meet Holland – wow, what a partnership! Bo & Luke is a meal in a glass (or at least dessert), and I certainly got my fill. Truly world-class beer.
Serving type: bottle
12-27-2013 04:36:20 | More by BarryMFBurton
4.76/5 rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Growler from the brewery shipped to me courtesy of Harold. Thank you!
poured 12-14oz into a snifter.
A - Obsidian with a 1.5 finger tan head. A thin ring remains after the head fades. Small spots of lacing trail behind as the liquid slides down the glass. Nice looking for a BB beer.
S - Tons of chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, caramel, marshmallow, and just a hint of light smoke. Smell is not bourbon dominated, but rich and decadent.
T - Huge sweetness from this beer, in a complementary way to the bourbon and smoke. Chocolate, caramel, vanilla, bourbon, and marshmallow lead the way. Faint wood and smoke linger around at the end. How is this 14%? The alcohol is so hidden, I best be careful.
M - Silky smooth, rich and creamy. Nice carbonation for the BB style.
O - I should be sipping this much slower than I am. It is a really nice BB stout that more people need to experience. I fell very lucky to have had the pleasure of drinking it.
Serving type: growler
12-23-2013 00:49:19 | More by Ri0
4.25/5 rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Had a taster of this at the Great Taste of the Midwest & couldn't wait to try it again, one of the highlights of the day. Funniest part was running into a few of my young friends (hell, they're all young punks) & asking if he understood the "Bo & Luke" reference. Uh, no, they didn't. 750ML bottle, orange wax, interesting dead-inspired artwork. Oh, & thanks to incubuscience for this one!
First off, there's a special place in hell for breweries that wax bottles like this. It took eight minutes & a single Abrams round to knock off the six inches of accumulated wax. Finally, the damn beer. It's black. Moderately life. Nose brings moderate smokiness, peat, & vanilla. Not as aggressive as I recall, but hey, it's just a smell.
Bo & Luke used moonshine in the General Lee & thank goodness they didn't have this around for fuel. A smouldering peat bog hits the senses first & for a moment I think "uh oh all smoke no fire" but then we're sliding past, into a deep barrel character that delivers both whiskey & vanilla. Mid-palate lovely chocolate, light char, drying oak, & as a bonus, the vanilla comes along to finish up & lend a wicked smoothness that gives a big fat lie to the ABV number. My chest says 13%, my mouth says 4%. I suppose my head will feel it, eventually.
Not as transcendental as on tap, but a damn excellent beer, especially since my tastes don't run strongly to smoked malts. Was kind of hoping my wife wouldn't like her glass, but alas...I did, however, leave some in the bottom of the bottle to sneak...
Serving type: bottle
12-14-2013 02:54:22 | More by maximum12
4.53/5 rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5
Poured into a Reuben's Brew snifter. Pours a very dark brown, appearing opaque black in the glass, with a thin light brown head that dissipates leaving a thick ring around the glass and light lacing. Aroma of bourbon, dark toasted malt, vanilla and smokehouse smokiness. Flavor is rich, sweet toasted malt, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon with an overlay of wood smoke, very well balanced and integrated. Finishes with a bit of bourbon booziness, smoke and nice hop bitterness. Medium bodied with light creaminess. A very smooth, nicely balanced bourbon imperial stout. Not as heavy bodied as expected, but the flavors more than compensate. Smoke is deftly done. Alcohol is well covered, but this is definitely warming and carries a punch. Well done, and glad I stumbled on a bottle of this uncommon beer.
Serving type: bottle
12-12-2013 04:02:47 | More by LiquidAmber
4.2/5 rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
750ml bottle poured into HF fest class. First beer of Donfrap's birthday tasting, also first beer of the 4 bottle set.
A- Pours a translucent brown but appears opaque black in the glass with some translucency around the edges. Slight mocha head that recedes fairly fast leaving some light lacing that slides back into the glass. Appears a bit thinner then I was expecting being a 14% stout.
S- Smoked meat is pretty apparent with smoked ham and smoked wood, faint chocolate malts in the background and faint sweet bourbon. Fairly aromatic with a nice balance.
T- Sweet nicely integrated bourbon balanced with smoked meat, a bit of wood, smooth dark chocolate that comes out a bit more on the finish.
M- Nice carbonation, very smooth, a tiny bit thinner then I was expecting but body fits nicely.
O- This beer was a little bit smoker and thinner then I was expecting but overall this beer was fantastic. The booze was very well hidden and the flavors came out nicely. Definitely worth trying and looking forward to trying the variants next.
Serving type: bottle
12-07-2013 20:03:08 | More by jaasen64
Bo & Luke from Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
95 out of 100 based on 441 ratings.