The story of Bo & Luke Down Under goes back a while. Sticking to the Australian chapter of the story, the beer was brewed in May 2019 when Against The Grain were in Melbourne for Good Beer Week. They laid down a smoked imperial stout featuring rye, mesquite and beechwood smoked malts, which then spent time in rum barrels before being split into a trio of formats: straight, maple and hazelnut & cocoa.
I've only tasted the first two, with the straight version less the larrikins of Dukes of Hazzard, more the Marlboro Man. While it's undeniably thick, creamy and heavy on the palate, it's also something of a brute; hints of the 13 percent ABV poke through the dark fruits, dark chocolate, nuttiness and roast malts, with the Marlboro Man bringing a leathery, drying element to the party.
It means the Maple edition, rather than taking the beer into dessert territory, actually acts to bring the beer back into line, negating some of those rougher edges and delivering a more traditional barrel-aged imperial stout experience.
- Barrel-Aged Imperial Stouts
- 13.0% & 12.9%