Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Bo & Luke | Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Bo & LukeBo & Luke
925 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 925 |  Reviews: 93
Photo of CraigP83
3.87/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

No head, black with redding hue around the edges. Smokey, boardering on cigarette ash, I wasn't a huge fan

106 characters

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

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

Photo of Chizzlethespeez
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of Richter525
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of BeerBeast
4.41/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of elvisdoc
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Sk8sean86
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of puffthestuff
5/5  rDev +17.6%
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.

 918 characters

Photo of mig100
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Warren2621
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GuyFawkes
3.83/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

 405 characters

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

Photo of jzeilinger
4.25/5  rDev 0%
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!

 302 characters

Photo of Beersnake1
4.44/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

 428 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
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!

 737 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.36/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Rating from notes taken Zwanze Day 2014:

High B / GOOD

Reviewed from notes taken in Spring 2015.

750ml brown glass bottle with orange wax-ed over cap purchased at Torst in Brooklyn for $33 USD and served into stemware. Expectations were high going in given my memory of this beer at Zwanze day. Great label art.

13% ABV.

HEAD: Fizzles out within 10 seconds, leaving no time to note any characteristics aside from its khaki colour. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

BODY: Opaque solid black. No yeast or sediment is visible within.

Appealing for the style, but not unique or special.

AROMA: Chewy tobacco, bourbon (replete with faint vanilla and rich white oak), dark malts, caramel, cream, chewy toffee, and nougat. I don't find the rye malt or corn adjunct. To my surprise, no smoke is present, but if I really search I think I find a hint of cherrywood...not something I'd find in a blind tasting, but I guess it's there when you know to look.

Surprisingly bourbon-emphatic for its scant 3 months of barrel aging.

Aromatic intensity is moderately high.

No overt hoppy or yeasty notes are detectable, nor are any off-notes. It does have some bourbon-induced warmth.

Roasted barley is absent, unfortunately.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Subtle cherrywood is present on the climax. Heavy dark malts provide the backbone, accompanying the beer's thick syrupy viscous mouthfeel with heavy malt sweetness. Heavy on the palate, with some nice creaminess but not enough softness or silkiness. Well-carbonated.

Roasted barley would help lend it needed coarseness and dryness and would give it more of a biter edge to help counterbalance the overly sweet dark and specialty chocolate malts.

Sticky, chewy, hefty, full-bodied, and weighty on the palate. Comparisons to motor oil woudn't be off-base.

The bourbon character is nice, boasting pleasant flavours of faint vanilla/barrel vanillin and weak white oak, but the bourbon isn't as pronounced as would be ideal even if it does eclipse the weak reticent base beer.

Base beer lacks the intended smokiness. I want more of a toasty beer with rich oak and roasted barley.

I do like the creaminess of the brew.

Suffers from a fundamental sweetness/bitterness imbalance that really holds it back. Boozy warmth is inescapable throughout, that 13% punching at its weight.

No overt hoppy, yeasty, or off-flavours are present.

Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour.

Where's the smoke? The rye? The corn?

Too harsh, rough around the edges, and imbalanced, with an out of control complexity that lacks order or deliberation. Mouthfeel is a disaster and there's no harmony of texture and taste. Kind of a mes.

OVERALL: A severe disappointment (especially at $33). This emperor has no clothes; I'm not sure what all the hullabaloo is over this beer, but I expected better given De Molen's involvement and the beer's reputation (not to mention my memory of it as pretty good from my last rating). Doesn't get any better as it warms, and I wouldn't buy it again even at 1/3 of the price I paid (though price has no bearing on my rating). Above average, I guess...I remembered this better.


 3,164 characters

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

Photo of thatoneguymike
3.72/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of T_Hass
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of puftdank
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of snowmageddon
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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

Bo & Luke from Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 925 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.