Bo & Luke (Habanero & Serrano) | Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse

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Bo & Luke (Habanero & Serrano)Bo & Luke (Habanero & Serrano)

Brewed by:
Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
Kentucky, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TwelveOunces on 09-23-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 5 | Ratings: 31
Photo of BEERchitect
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The "kick in the balls" variation of the infamous imperial smoked stout does so with inspirations from chipotle- with serrano and habanero taking center stage.

Darker and richer than ever, the addition of peppers hardly makes a mark on the original Bo & Luke- it's jet-black pour was dark and ominous as expected. As its fine bubbles calder from below, they rise to form a frothy mocha head, full of tightly woven bubbles- compromised only slightly by the peppers oils, lacing lightly an intermittently.

The aromas of the smoky beer wrap around the slight vegetative pepper scent and temper its campfire and meaty character slightly; yet allowing the bold roast coffee and charred fruit character of currants, grapes and berries to blend with delicate tobacco, peat and mesquite. Supporting burnt toffee is dry and doesn't compete with the beer's spicy tone.

Its burnt sweetness is roasted while black-strap molasses, espresso, and bitter chocolate quickly turn to the sharp spiciness of peppers to complement its smoked meat, charcoal, and grilled fruit. Charred berries, currants, plumbs, figs, and grapes weave into peppery spice and vinous flavors and are then further complemented with fine oak and bitterness that extends with bourbon-like alcohol sweetness, vanilla, coconut and tobacco.

Incredibly, the beer rests upon its robust malt body that facilitates early spicey-sweetness with creamy and bready texture. But as the beer extends develops across the middle palate it intensifies its spice and alcohol to finish with light ash, plaster and wood spice.

The smoke of the base beer begs for this kind of pepper flavor and feel. But a more well-rounded taste from the pulp and flesh of the pepper would sell its taste even better; reinforcing the flavor of the vegetable, and not just its spice.

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Photo of jaasen64
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into HF fest glass. Third beer of Don's birthday tasting, third of the set. Thanks Don for the share.

A- Same as regular Bo & Luke- dark brown, slight mocha head, very light lacing.

S- Smells fairly similar to regular but with a nice subtle spicy pepper balancing with the smoke, bourbon, and barrel. Maybe not quite as aromatic as the other variants but a nice balance.

T- Nice smokiness with a bit of smoked ham (not as much as regular), some charred wood, finishes with a nice pepper presence that brings a nice spiciness that isn't overpowering and complements the base beer nicely.

M- Similar to regular, nice carbonation, a bit thin, very smooth, palate burns just a tiny bit from peppers, very drinkable though.

O- This was a very nice variant on B&L that was much better then the tea version. The peppers balanced nicely with the base beer and added a nice presence. I wouldn't necessarily say it is better then the regular but it was at least just as good and was unique to try.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.62/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black with some transparency at the edges. Medium collar.

Smell - Some bourbon and vanilla barrel character. Minimal smoke. Not a lot of pepper, but it's there.

Taste - Sweet roasted malt. The briefest barrel flavor. Intense pepper flavor. Spicy. Takes over completely.

Mouthfeel - Very spicy, maybe too much. Definitely masks other flavors.

Overall - Too spicy. Makes me miss the base beer.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The appearance is a bit innocuous when you consider what this becomes but It held a nice lace of carbonation for a head and had a calm black body.

The aroma holds some deep vegetative character with plenty of the Habenero and Sarrano peppers evident. There's a smokey note, some chocolate malt, a little wood and some roast but don't inhale too deeply or you will feel a burn in the throat.

There's a strong chocolate foundation and it seems it's one dimensional...chocolate with a kick. What's so great is that the chocolate melds with the Habanero and Sarrano and gives the illusion of chocolate covered peppers. Seems kind of disgusting but this really works. As it warms there is the discovery of more earth tones, wood, smoke and roast.

This has huge heat and so much so that it will make you sweat. It's more of a heat in your core and not a burn of the throat and mouth. Plus, the feel is so smooth and thick that it coats the throat and makes it feel warm.

Straight up this is the best pepper beer I've had, bar none!

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Photo of TwelveOunces
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

750 Ml poured into a snifter
2013 Batch from the Release party

A- Pours like coca cola. Pitch black in the glass. A one finger of a dense khaki head.

S- A rich bourbon note. A touch of charred oak and a dark caramel. A lot of cocoa and chocolate. A tad smokey. A bit of a spicy pepper if you look for it but not too bold. Excellent.

T- Wow. A big punch of peppers. A spice and burn on the back of the throat. A lingering spiciness. A hot beer that goes well with the natural drinking pace of a massive beer like this. An absolute bourbon bomb. A very slight sour mash and a lot of charred oak. There is a ton of vanilla in this beer as well as a caramel flavor and caramel like mouth feel. A spicy heap of smokiness as well. A complex roasted malt as well. Awesome stuff.

M- A thick beer. Spicy all the way through. The hot wing equivalent of beer. Alcohol is surprisingly well hidden

O- I have nothing but good things to say about this beer. I love the base beer but this is a step up, as I love spicy beers. If you don't like spicy things, try this anyways. Please brew again for next year ATG!

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Bo & Luke (Habanero & Serrano) from Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
4.19 out of 5 based on 31 ratings.
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