Bo & Luke | Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse

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Bo & LukeBo & Luke
941 Ratings
Bo & LukeBo & Luke

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

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.00%

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 Van Winkle Bourbon Barrels. The resulting beer is rich, smokey and complex, with a bourbon character of caramel, vanilla and spice.

Added by TMoney2591 on 10-08-2012

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 941 |  Reviews: 98
Photo of Rilesmiles
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of psmith161
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of von_kaiser
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of brentk56
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance; Pours with the full three fingers, a beige rocky head that tops the espresso colored liquid; spots and squiggles of lace

Smell: Smokey, with Bourbon, chocolate, coconut, vanilla and dark fruit tones

Taste: A lot of threads to follow here; the smoke hits the palate first, creating an ashy tone that builds through the middle; the dark chocolate is an early arriver, too, and that flavor persists into the aftertaste; some prune tones appear, through the middle, along with coconut and vanilla, with the sweeter elements lingering into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; warmth in the gullet

Overall: Surprised by the lighter mouthfeel, given the abv, but otherwise there are a lot of interesting elements to this beer

 772 characters

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of PrestigeWorldwide
3.86/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Nunya
3.65/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Duncian
4.04/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of ScubaLeon
4.21/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Moses_Malone
3.5/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of curtis6290
4.31/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2017 Bottle enjoyed on 1/14/18 poured into snifter.

Look: Deep brown in color, appears oily when swirled, oily lacing, mediocre foam head that lingers. Beige foam color.
Smell: Bacon, smoked pork, charcoal fire, bourbon, maple, coffee, chocolate.
Taste: All of above, plus vanilla, nutmeg, caramel, cinnamon, pancakes, waffles, and Maple Syrup. The smoke is the forefront and this reminds me of maple glazed bacon. The bourbon appears toward the end but is forgiving.
Feel: Medium-High carbonation and strong alcohol mouthfeel, but it mellows nicely, and is quite pleasant. Very light unlike RIS, more like a porter.
Overall: This should be called a breakfast porter because it reminds me most of bacon, pancakes and maple syrup. An interesting beer that's worth trying. Don't drink this one all by oneself, this is one to share with a group and drink slowly.

 860 characters

Photo of Gajo74
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

My second taste at Top Hops, NYC’s 6th anniversary party.
Pours a dark brown/black color with a moderate frothy head. Average retention yields a smattering of lace.
Holding it up to the nose reveals aromas of roasted and smoked malts. The barrel aging emits aromas that are oaky, bourbon and vanilla like. There is also a nutty quality similar to almond. Finally, there is a touch of anise of and licorice.
Putting it to my lips, I’m immediately astonished by the intense smoky quality of the malt taste. The smoky malts are accompanied by a creamy sweetness that evokes flavors of dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and almonds. Flavors of anise, licorice and mint add a menthol like freshness. Midway, the palate takes an interesting turn through its development of hops, roasted malt and espresso bean flavors that add a bold bitterness and dryness to the finish. The spiciness of the rye and tobacco also begins to come out. Obviously high in alcohol, the flavor suggests a touch of bourbon without the booziness. The alcohol is well masked-more spicy and oaky than boozy- rendering this dangerously drinkable. Full bodied, complex and robust. Dynamic in all its flavors. A wonderful beer!

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Photo of Damian
3.96/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Drank from a 25.4 floz 750ml orange wax dipped bottle purchased at Whole Foods Market - Columbus Circle, New York, NY
Served in a tulip

Great label art as always. Against The Grain do it again. Although the orange wax dipped neck looked pretty awesome, the wax was a real pain in the ass to remove. As for the beer itself, it poured a fairly thin, dark caramel brown. The liquid was surprisingly light in both color and body for the style. A frothy, half-inch tall, khaki colored crown rose above the liquid and fell to a thick, bubbly collar. Some streaky lacing stuck along the glass.

Smoky notes came through big time in the aroma. Smoked mesquite or perhaps even a peaty Scotch came to mind. Good dose of brown sugar. Fairly sweet. Bourbon was noticeable but not quite as much as I had hoped. Moderately boozy. Vanilla was also apparent, and it intensified as the beer warmed.

The flavor profile was similar to the aroma but slightly less rounded. Malty and rich up front. Somewhat sweet. Caramel and brown sugar notes were apparent. The smokiness kicked in next. Like in the nose, the smoked malts displayed a peaty Scotch or a campfire-like quality. The beer was nutty and somewhat fruity in the middle. Touch of vanilla. Moderate bourbon presence on the back end. The beer finished with a fairly big whiskey-like kick and some lingering oaky tannins. Perhaps a bit astringent.

Fairly thin mouthfeel. Almost a touch watery for the style. The liquid contained a medium carbonation that turned somewhat frothy and slick on the palate.

An interesting, bourbon barrel-aged smoked strong ale or American brown this may be, but it certainly did not drink like an imperial stout. Looking at past reviews, I wonder if this recent vintage was thinner than past iterations. Bo & Luke is an interesting, enjoyable beer but definitely not worthy of the hype or the steep price tag.

 1,880 characters

Photo of aletrailky81
4.31/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of chicagocraft
4.99/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Opens very dark, looks like mud, but the Pappy barrels make this by far one or the best BBA stouts I've ever had. Dark caramel, chocolate, and Pappy flavor. Against the grain knows their Bourbon. Amazing beer.

 209 characters

Photo of A_Rad
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of rossracing
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mwvman
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Samact
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of rypkr
4.54/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So BA has this classified as a RIS but all the notes I read has it flirating with a smoked ale. And since rauchbiers and smoked ales are my favorite offerings I'm extremely excited to dip into this guy.

2016 bottle, only let rest out of the fridge for 15 minutes. Going to be consuming this slow and noting the evolution as it warms.

Holy fuk the wax game was strong on this.

L - teku pour. Wow this is gorgeous. Deep inky, oily black with a pillowy damn near white frothy head. Lacing is so frothy its nuts.

S - I read reviews where people complained of no barrel character. Well that's not the case so far on the nose. It's heavily laden with bourbon all throughout the nose. Lots of vanilla and caramel sweetness. Not a lot of smoke sadly. Cream corn? Yeah I'm getting that.

T - boom. Holy smoke. Holy unique smoke. This is unlike any smoked beer I've ever had. There's an element to this beer that I just can't put my finger on, something in the grain bill is so prominent and assertive, but foreign to me and I don't know what it is, but it's delicious.

There's a definite spicyness to this from the rye. Deeply riasty and yet sweet at the same time. The smoke is like tobacco much more so than sausage or meat like a rauchbier.

I'm in agreement with the other reviews that there is very little barrel throughout. Though with this beers intense complexity, I'd have a hard time justifying a want for anything to change.

F - very big. Very dry. Very filling. Very satisfying. It's a meal in a teku.

O - I love this. This is on my top 20-30 beers for sure.

Value - this was a very generous trade extra, but I'd gladly pay heavily for another. Speaking of which... I wonder if I have off for this year's release...

Warming notes - as I aprroach 50% through and nearing in on room temperature I can't help but feel stuffed. This is seriously a meal, and the warmer it gets, the richer and more filling it becomes. Yet another case for a beer that really should be in a 12oz format. Perhaps even may be a reason I shy away from future trades or purchases for this... I'm pretty much done with it half way through.

 2,126 characters

Photo of teamwiggum
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of 7irondave
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of bcsbeer
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MTKATL
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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Bo & Luke from Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 941 ratings