Against the Grain – Bo & Luke – 4 out of 7


For all the flack that the beer community gives Against the Grain, they are able to produce ok beers from time to time. Plus, they’ve been able to convince the team over at De Molen brewery to collaborate and produced Bo & Luke, an imperial smoked stout aged in bourbon barrels. And, AGT made the extra effort to use Pappy Van Winkle barrels at that (a bourbon that is nearly impossible to buy without $1500 and blind faith in the bourbon secondary market on Facebook and Craigslist). But about the beer, the proper efforts made on the barrel agenda are not lost. Bourbon barrel scent wafts out and with the added alcohol and hops, gives your nose a little burn, much like many other barrel aged beers. With moderate viscosity (5 out of 7) Bo & Luke produced a nice tan head that hunkered down for over half an hour. One thing that is lost, however, is the smoke. While barreling smoked beers is the best idea that I can come up with, the barrel oftentimes overpowers the smoke, as found here. Halfway through and the booze makes it’s presence known, which I like… it’s been a long week. In conclusion, I taste stout, musty soot, ash, barley, and a little bit of smoke. I feel great! Overall smokestack rating = 4 smokestacks out of 7. Middle of the country, middle of the road.

Brewer Against The Grain
Beer Name Bo & Luke
Brewer’s 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 VanWinkle Bourbon Barrels.  The resulting beer is rich, smokey and complex, with a bourbon character of caramel, vanilla and spice.
Food Pairings Kentucky Fried Chicken
Brewery Location Louisville, KY (USA)
Alcohol content by volume 13% -ish
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 83
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 5.8
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 3
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 2
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 5
Barrel Power 1-7 (in name only – burns nose) 7
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 4

AGT’s website isn’t half bad:

And here’s a link to De Molen’s website, with no mention of Bo & Luke:

About SmokeBeerMinistry

I like beers that taste like smoke.
This entry was posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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