Day 4 of Halfway to Louisville Craft Beer Week was all about one thing, Against the Grain’s Bo & Luke variants event. Our friends at AtG released five variants (draft only); cherry bitters, chocolate peanut butter, vanilla, fig and date, and cognac. On top of that the original Bo & Luke was also pouring and bottles of said Bo & Luke (original only) and MacFannyBaw, their barrel-aged rauchbier were for sale. Oh, and the Boar’s Nest Booster Club, featuring our very own John Wurth, was playing out on the patio. Yep, it was a good time folks.
I won’t review all variants, but I will highlight my three favorites. First off, Against the Grain hit it out of the park again with the Bo & Luke variants. I started off with the Cognac version. This beer added a nice, slightly astringent alcohol flavor to the base beer. I know that’s not the best way to describe it, but the cognac treatment worked really well. The base brew on its own is one of my favorite imperial stouts made and the cognac added an extra element that made it shine.
The vanilla Bo & Luke was a completely different animal. Admittedly, I’ve never been much of a vanilla fan, so this is actually the beer I was least excited to try. Luckily for me, I was blind-sided by it. The vanilla notes are strong in this beer. In fact I think this is the beer that is most different from the base beer. That’s not a bad thing though. The vanilla was fresh and up front but melded well with the smoke and barrel notes. The added sweetness really rounded the beer out well.
The final variant I’ll note was also my favorite. Chocolate peanut butter was exactly how it sounds…. Almost like pushing a Reese’s Cup into the beer. Big notes of peanut butter hit you in the face right away and the chocolate and other notes from Bo & Luke shine through the entire time. It’s literally a bit of a desert beer and the one beer I wish was bottled more than any of the others. Fantastic.
The release party was easily the most crowded event I attended all week (as most assumed it would be) and seemed to run fairly smoothly. Now all I hope for is a Bo & Luke variant “Hall of Fame” 4-pack release featuring the Chili Pepper, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Vanilla variants. Hear that Atg? Let’s make this happen. Regardless, congrats on a wonderful event.