Bo & Luke | Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse

88 Reviews
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

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Reviews: 88 | Ratings: 896
Photo of Barnoloid
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft pour at Fountainhead Chicago. I guess what I wasn't prepared for here was the smokiness. This is the smokiest beer I have ever had. Wow! I feel like I am working a half barrel BBQ grill in Nashville whilst bluegrass bands play in the opposite room.

Not your ordinary BA stout. Chocolate, cherry and a hint of vanilla do come through but that smokiness carries everything along and fills up your nose and palate in an overwhelming manner.

Fantastic, just a really surprising, somewhat jarring and ultimately delicious brew.

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Photo of Sir_Whats-his-face
3.29/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

As a regular imperial stout, this is pretty solid. It's flavorful, well-balanced, and the smoke presence is very nice. However, as a barrel aged stout- especially one in this price range- this falls very short. Simply put, there is almost no barrel presence in this beer whatsoever, and there are tons of outstanding BA stouts with tons of barrel presence- Parabola, Bourbon County, Crux Tough Love, Rye Whiskey Abyss, Oakshire Hellshire VI, Heathen BA Epitaph to name a few- that can be found for the same price or less than this. If this weren't marketed as a bourbon barrel aged stout, and if it weren't $25 a bottle, I could recommend a beer like this. As it stands, though, I'd say that your money would be better spent on something else. I could care less if Against the Grain uses Pappy barrels- a BA beer either has barrel presence or it doesn't, and this beer doesn't have it at all. The base beer is very good, but I think if you're going to make a barrel aged stout, you ought to put some effort into making it taste barrel aged. Against the Grain doesn't seem to agree with me.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black body, looks thick. Tan head, creamy looking but fades to a thin ring. Smell is like a bonfire, great smoke aroma without harshness, some nuance like barbecue or spice. Beneath that is warm, like caramel, and warm, like booze, bourbon notes, followed by dark chocolate. Taste also puts the smoke first, then whiskey, then dark, bitter chocolate and roasted malt, a hint of vanilla, and a flash of raisin. Body is thick but not *sludgy*, and a bit too carbonated. But still very rich.
Love it! They have it all: authentic smoke, real whiskey, and a great beer behind it, too. Put more meat on the body and this would be nearing perfection.

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Photo of puffthestuff
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: black duh tan head quite frothy
S: unique marshmallow woody slightly bourbon smell cherrywood is there. It's good fantastic smell
T: dark chocolate bourbon slightly smokey like a campfire smore quite fantastic very well blended and roasted malts not over powering. Berry fruits come through smoke and bourbon on the back
F: thick as a stout should be. Syrupy down your throat not too much carb very good mouth feel that sticks
O: overall I'm damn impressed with what my hometown comes up with and this is a fantastic stout and there's very little I would change. Possibly this beer is the experience of having a backwoods campfire with friends in KY. So well balanced probably the best roasted malts I've had to date. No over powering bitterness but character still kept. Fantastic beer must try. It gets a 5/5 perfect cause this reminds me of home and there not much I could think to change to make it any better.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Unknown vintage; drank 10/10/15 @ Harvest Hop Haus.

Poured from the bottle into a glass.

Dark brown appearance.

Minimal tan head; minimal lace.

Burnt leaves, caramel & cream soda notes in the nose.

Thick, sticky mouthfeel.

Smoke, milk chocolate & caramel flavors up front; heavy burnt leaf notes on the finish. A nice stout lurks somewhere underneath this smoke bomb, but I can barely taste it.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pitch black pour, lots of legs, very viscous on the sides of the glass.

S - Cocoa, wood, smokiness, vanilla, some caramel.

T - Dark cocoa, bourbon, vanilla, some smokiness, lightly charred oak.

M - Thick and full bodied, lip smacking sticky, silky, velvety.

O - Pretty solid barreled aged beer!

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Photo of Beersnake1
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from fridge temp to snifter. Allowed to warm over an hour. Pours black with almost no carbonation. Smell is smoke and roasted malts. Honestly not getting a lot of bourbon on the nose. Taste is very different than smell, at least to me. I get a really smooth creamy stout with a hint of bourbon. Almost no bitterness, and a good amount of dark fruit - mostly blackberries. Mouthfeel is bold and creamy. This is incredible.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a red wax topped bomber into a snifter, the beer is jet black, with a ton of carbonation feeding a tall, foamy, bubbly, light tan head. Aromas of bourbon booze and spice notes, vanilla, molasses, brown sugar, chocolate, coffee, and solid peat and smoke. Very dynamic nose. Flavors are very smoky and earthy forward, with a solid follow of chocolate and coffee, both bittersweet and roasted. More flavors burst forth as you drink, with notes of blackstrap molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, caramel, and toffee. Very dynamic and layered palate. Smooth and creamy bodied, with a boozy bourbon, chocolate, and smoked aftertaste. The finish is smooth, creamy, and surprisingly light for all of the dynamics going on. Damn good beer!

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Photo of HopBomb515
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Black, big tan head, lots of lacing that eventually fades. Notes of smoke, wood fired grill, cherries charred, vanilla and smoke. Medium body, coating and semi dry. Overall a good beer. Interesting mix of flavors that are not a stray from the norm.

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Photo of cardsfan
3.96/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Was really underwhelmed by this. Heard lots of good things but was immediately concerned after the look. Extremely thin. Smell was great but taste didn't back it up. Feel was just what I was expecting after the look. Not a bad beer but very overhyped.

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Photo of Mateo2699
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pour is not quite jet black. Very very dark brown, very subtle red hue in the light. Seems to be a slight thin body, with khaki colored head that sticks around for a while. Decent lacing.

Pretty noticable bourbon in the nose. The smoke is very present as well. The smoke doesn't initially hit you, but it smells like a cigar lounge room. Wood, oak, vanilla, caramel. Burnt campfire logs comes through the nose as it warms up. Has an outdoorsy smoke smell.

Taste is more sweet than expected. Getting some roasted marshmallow, caramel, vanilla, milk chocolate and dark chocolate in the beginning. The finish is when the bitter flavors come through. This is when the bourbon kicks in, hickory smoke, dark fruit and burnt toast.

Mouthfeel isn't thick at all, but still full bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Very robust beer, full bodied. Gets the job done. Nothing outside the box but smoked stout aged in bourbon barrels (as name implies) is exactly what it tastes like.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip glass. Thanks, Ron!

A: Dark brown with a one finger tan head that lingered. Thick lacing.

S: Yep, I smell the smoke along with bourbon, chocolate and vanilla. Nice intertwining.

T: Comes on like a muscle car. Smoke invades with a shot of bourbon. Then vanilla icing, chocolate and cocoa nibs bring this thick, sweet devil down hard for a 13% kick.

M: Medium to heavy with medium, chewy carbonation.

O: A fantastic smoked stout. Just a notch or two below a Sue. And that's damn good. Varoom!

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Photo of cjgator3
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this beer at Cigar City's Hunahpu's Day 2016 in Tampa, FL. I love smoked beers and Bo & Luke has the perfect amount of smoke and barrels to make it something that I thoroughly enjoyed.

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Photo of Boccu
4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark and rich. Dark head. Smoke right from the start. Turns to a nice light bourbon finish. Well crafted. Not my type of stout. But well made.

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Photo of docoman
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I have been wanting to try this beer for couple years and lucked out finding it locally on tap to try. Smells of faint bourbon, smoky burnt raisins? The taste is what let me down, finding out just not fan of the "smoked" stouts, which if is your thing you would probably really like this one. Glad I got to try it, but probably not again for me.

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Photo of Rimbimhoot
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Very dark brown with thin head
S: Smoke, bourbon, chocolate, fudge, oak, vanilla
T: Chocolate, smoke, bourbon, caramel, sweet, fudge, vanilla
M: Medium heavy, residual sugar
O: Good bourbon barrel stout with balanced smoke

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smoky and roasty, dark chocolaty sweet with bittersweet char around the edges; hints of marshmallow and vanilla, and a little dark fruit under airs of bourbon barrels. Nice full body, smooth and easy-drinking.

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Photo of _RL_
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours black but not opaque on the pour, only in the glass. Smells boozy and roasted but the taste has only some booze and maybe a hint of smoke. Very smooth, especially considering the abv. It has a very good mouthfeel that is just short of great. I wish the beer was a bit more complex (perhaps cinnammon, coffee, vanilla, etc) but it's pretty tasty as is. I would be interested to see if this infuses with flavors as well as BCBS.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 reviewed with a few years in it. Simply among the best in style. A little lighter, red brown, than I though it would be. Head fades fast. Smell is campfire smores. Hickory, dark chocolate, burnt toast, not really sweet at all. Prunes in the finish. A tar note. Note thick but a bit creamy with a lingering smokey note.

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Photo of Tidesox28
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Love the bottle art, but more importantly I love the beer inside. Nice and smoky, but not too over-the-top. Drinks much like a porter. Perfect for shipping near the campfire and autumn. I just wish it wasn't so hard to get.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very dark brown that settles into the glass with a near-black body and a thick, foamy light brown head. One of the biggest heads I have ever seen for such a big imperial stout. Aroma has lots of vanilla, roasted malts, hints of grainy spices and a dash of smoke. Flavor is much of the same, with a little bit more sweetness than I expected. Almost a toasted marshmallow type flavor with the vanilla, spices, roast and hints of smoke complimenting. Flavor is thick and velvety, lingering sweet and smokey finish. Smoked beers are hit or miss for me and can sometimes mask other flavors, but in this one the smoke compliments everything nicely. Not too sweet, not too smokey, great feel and very drinkable for the ABV.

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Photo of Marius
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review form memory. An excellent RIS, roasted malts, cocoa, coffee, caramel and a very nice barrel sourness to top it off. Smooth mouthfeel with minimum carbonation.

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Photo of JohnCassillo
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Despite the high ABV, this one certainly doesn't drink like it. Smooth and smokey finish that possesses a ton of rich bourbon notes with each sip. On top of the pleasant bourbon flavors, it adds chocolate and coffee notes as well. A truly excellent example of style, and one only serves to improve with age.

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Photo of Tommo
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

If you liked smoked beers, you will looovvvvveeee this. If you are looking for a bourbon aged stout, look else where. Wonderful flavor, truly a great beer

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Photo of superspak
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 2 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a large amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of milk chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toast, vanilla, raisin, plum, cherry, bourbon, oak, light pepper, light smoke, and oak/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt, dark fruit, and bourbon barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of huge milk chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toast, toffee, vanilla, butterscotch, cream, coconut, bourbon, oak, raisin, plum, cherry, wood smoke, light pepper, and oak/roasted earthiness. Light roast/oaky bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toffee, toast, vanilla, butterscotch, cream, bourbon, oak, wood smoke, light dark fruit, and oak/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/smoked malt, bourbon barrel, and light dark fruit flavors; with a good roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and lightly slick/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an incredible barrel aged smoked imperial stout. All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast.smoked malt, bourbon barrel, and light dark fruit flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the huge ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Bo & Luke from Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
4.3 out of 5 based on 896 ratings.
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