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Bourbon Cru - Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Bourbon CruBourbon Cru

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

225 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 225
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 39
Gots: 58 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
Hardywood Bourbon Cru is brewed in the fashion of the abbey quadrupel, the grand cru of many of Belgium’s revered monastic breweries. Bourbon Cru displays a sunset orange hue with a substantial head and brilliant clarity after months of barrel ageing. The maturity and melding of flavors brought on by the freshly drained, half-decade old Virginia bourbon barrels from Fredericksburg’s A. Smith Bowman Distillery lends an extraordinary sense of harmony to Bourbon Cru.
Almond toffee and oaky vanilla aromatics give way to dark cherries, raisins and mature whiskey. A bit of plum flavor is greeted by caramel overtones and an assertive yet incredibly rounded body and a lingering, bourbon-laced finish.

18 IBU

(Beer added by: YumYumGumGum on 05-02-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 225 | Reviews: 39 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sodensp
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

sodensp, Aug 16, 2012
Photo of drabmuh
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer shared by someone at a recent tasting, thanks. Served in a ticking snifter for the purposes of ticking. Beer is brown and hazy with a thin tan head of small and medium bubbles, no lacing, low retention.

Aroma is sort of bourbony, malty, syrup.

Beer is thick and sweet with a boozy finish, hard to drink, not very enjoyable. I don't think this will be a repeat for me.

drabmuh, Aug 03, 2012
Photo of MasterSki
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Sean. Served in a Russian River tulip.

A - White foam that settles to a thick collar, but no lace. Transparent amber body.

S - Lots of oak and whiskey presence, with some fruity quad and treacle in the periphery. The barrel-aging is a tad heavy-handed but this still solid.

T - Again, lots of whiskey and oaky vanilla, with notes of chocolate, treacle, red fruits, and estery yeast backing things up. Alcohol is reasonably well-hidden.

M - Medium body, lower carbonation, super dry and tannic texture, and mild alcohol warmth. Perhaps a bit thin for the listed ABV.

D - Solid stuff, but not something I'd be able to drink in large quantities. I wish the whiskey wasn't so overpowering. Executed well enough that I'm interested in trying other offerings from Hardywood Park, as this isn't the easiest style to impress with.

MasterSki, Jul 29, 2012
Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 1.5 finger head with excellent lacing on a straight deep amber hazy body.

S: oak, bourbon, sweet caramel and toffee.

T: oak, bourbon, sweet caramel and brown sugar intermingle near perfectly. Vanilla, maple syrup and cola notes. Slight bitter finish.

M: medium body and moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: very good but very strong. Even for a 10 percent beer te alcohol is strong with the bourbon but this one makes it to your head even faster than expected. Many solid offerings from this brewery.

kylehay2004, Jul 20, 2012
Photo of siege06nd
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A. Pours a nice cloudy ruby color. A nic quarter finger of head emerges from the beer with some good lacing.

S. Vanilla, caramel, some dark fruit, bourbon, and a light earthy/vegetal kick.

T. Sweet cherry, brown sugar, caramel, lots of bourbon and oak, and some very sweet, bready notes. Base beer feels a bit thin and lacks the toasty, chocolatey character I expect from a quad. But the barrel aging is excellent, and imparts some lovely qualities to this.

M. Medium-full bodied with good carb level and some of the best barrel integration I have seen.

O. A good, but not great, beer. A barrel alone does not make a beer great, and in this case I think Hardywood's base beer is lacking in robust flavor: it drinks a bit thin. All the same, this is a quality offering and I encourage you to give it a tick if the opportunity presents itself.

siege06nd, Jul 14, 2012
Photo of ncaudle
4/5  rDev -1.5%

ncaudle, Jul 11, 2012
Photo of MidloRapid
4/5  rDev -1.5%

MidloRapid, Jul 03, 2012
Photo of Samichez
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Samichez, Jul 01, 2012
Photo of Gatordaddy
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Gatordaddy, Jun 16, 2012
Photo of billab914
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into my CBS snifter. It poured a darker caramel color with a thin, spotty lacing scattered across the top of the beer.

The bourbon is pretty noticeable in the aroma with brown sugar, oak and a little bit of booze. I get a pretty big sweet, crisp, apple juice like flavor to it as well as a touch of caramel. The bourbon is very nice, the sweet, crisp fruits felt a little overdone and sugary though.

The bourbon is the flavor that continues to shine for me in the taste. Again, I get a lot of very sweet, crisp fruits with apple juice coming through more up front as a little grape comes out in the finish. The dry, woody oak shines in the finish as well with a touch of vanilla to it. The Belgian yeast spice started to come out a little more as it warmed. The notes of brown sugar and caramel really mix well with the bourbon.

The mouthfeel feels a little too light and slightly watery for the style. Carbonation was a little on the high side, but very delicate and almost silky.

Overall I thought the bourbon flavors were fantastic. They managed to get all the really great flavors out of the barrel without much boozy alcohol at all. The beer flavors however seemed a little overly sweet and sugary to me with the lighter, crisp fruits being the focus of that component. I think it could have used a little more of a darker fruit character and a little more balance to the sweetness. I loved the bourbon flavors though.

billab914, Jun 16, 2012
Photo of Wmbolling
2.75/5  rDev -32.3%

Wmbolling, Jun 15, 2012
Photo of vfgccp
4.69/5  rDev +15.5%

vfgccp, Jun 10, 2012
Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Eriktheipaman, Jun 07, 2012
Photo of ao125
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is solidly one of the best beers I've had in 2012... and possibly ever.

Drank out of a plastic pint-sized cup, at the Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, in Richmond, VA on 6/2/12

The beer itself is a bourbon barrel quad, that appears to have been aged in A. Smith Bowman Distillery barrels - which can mean only one thing: Virginia Gentleman brand bourbon whiskey.

Appearance: Beautiful dark rust-colored maple syrup in color. A bit darker than what I would expect for a quad, but it hints at what you're going to find.

Smell: Explosive bourbon. Also vanilla and burnt sugar.

Taste: Did I mention bourbon? Bourbon. The malts turn this is into an easily drinkable bourbon beer. A tiny bit of Belgian "funk" on top of a really nice balance of traditional quad flavors.

Mouthfeel: My only argument against this beer is the mouthfeel, which is a little thin for my taste, but the thinness definitely makes this easier to drink than if it were closer to motor oil.

Overall: Wow. Find this beer. Lay a bottle down and drink one as soon as you're able to. I cleaned out the Whole Foods in Richmond, VA since the brewery wasn't selling bottles that day (though they typically do). This is a special beer.

I look forward to more greatness from this brewery.

ao125, Jun 06, 2012
Photo of gopens44
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

gopens44, Jun 05, 2012
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

ygtbsm94, Jun 03, 2012
Photo of ZachRVA
5/5  rDev +23.2%

ZachRVA, Jun 02, 2012
Photo of DmanGTR
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BJ for this awesomeness. Shared with a few friends at a beer tasting.

A nice, deep copper tone that kept quite clear until I poured the sediment in. It sported a light white cap that dissipated shortly thereafter. Very excited for the first sip. You can definitely taste the quad. A delicate front with notes of caramel and toffee, bringing forth a multilayered experience with malt, bread, vanilla, oak, and raisins. The bourbon accents the beer rather than dominating. Some may say that the bourbon is too light, but I found this to be a good quality of the beer. A bit prickly on the palate, had to swirl it a bit to reduce carbonation, but overall, a very tactfully crafted beer from a brewery that deserves attention.

DmanGTR, May 31, 2012
Photo of Beerontwowheels
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Beerontwowheels, May 31, 2012
Photo of Hallce2
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Hallce2, May 20, 2012
Photo of zaphodchak
4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Kinda cola looking, thinnish white head.

Rich and magnificent nose, vanilla and oak and lots of Belgian quad fruit.

The bourbon lends a bit of tang to this, traces of orange, plums, dates, and plenty of figs. It's truly a magnificent quad even fresh. A bit hot on the finish, but this came from the brewery just a couple weeks ago.

Thinnish, but with some cola-ish brightness. Not the best, but really I have to dig to find anything wrong with this.

It is absolutely all I could have hoped for from a bourbon barrel quad. I hesitate to say perfect, but then I say it anyway.

zaphodchak, May 19, 2012
Photo of Rhettroactive
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

From 750mL C&C bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 5/10/12
*From notes

-- Thanks to John & Eric for picking this up for me --

*It should be noted that this beer has been aged in Bowman Bourbon barrels

A: Surprisingly clean ruby in hue. A slow pour yields a .75 finger head. A thick, rich collar rims the beer. Minor lacing follows.

S: Pretty fantastic stuff. If you're a bourbon guy (or gal), then you owe it to yourself to check this BBQ out. Mounds of freshly toasted coconut, warm vanilla bean and a pretty hefty amount of bright red cherry and vine fruit. As it warms, I do get a bit of that Belgian yeast quality in the bouquet.

T: Some banana, Belgian candy sugar and a touch of rustic yeast. The Belgian influence here is right up front. But it doesn't own the profile, as it morphs into a certified bourbon bomb - a controlled, well put together bourbon bomb on the mid. Extremely expressive and wonderfully constructed. At no time did I feel that the bourbon or booze was too much, it paired beautifully with the base Quad. It finishes with a touch of residual sugar - maybe a gram or two at most. As it lingers in my mouth, I continue to get the coconut, vanilla, maybe even a hint of warm chocolate. Complex from top to bottom, and really God damn delicious.

M: Here's the one snag: the feel. Shockingly thin for such a big, bold and flavorful beer. The carbonation is proper and right on point. My issue is the weight. Not all BA beers need to be the consistency of used motor oil, but something a little bigger, a little thicker would make this Bourbon Cru even better. Mediocre body at best.

O: My biggest complaint about this beer (other then the mouthfeel) is that I drank my only bottle. This is a fantastic BA Quad - quite possibly the best BBQ I've ever come across. I'll be heading to Richmond soon to snag another couple of these for the cellar. Heartily recommended.

*Watch out for Hardywood Park, folks. Good things in the making.

Rhettroactive, May 13, 2012
Photo of Shilt
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Shilt, May 06, 2012
Photo of mhaugo
4/5  rDev -1.5%

mhaugo, May 04, 2012
Photo of YumYumGumGum
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Beautiful hazel appearance. Very clean translucent beer, with two fingers of barely off-white head. Minimal lacing occurred when served in a bar glass.

S - Ultra aromatic. Bourbon, oak, dark fruit. Bourbon is pretty overbearing but pleasing.

T - Bourbon, wood, pretty figgy, something more distinct maybe grape in the tart aftertaste. Blew me away when it was room temperature.

M - Good carbonation, should be great next year from corked 750ml bottle.

O - Very strong brew from a relatively new brewery here in Richmond. I got 9 bottles from the release and I am ecstatic. I was very impressed with the bourbon barrel-aged quad.

YumYumGumGum, May 02, 2012
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Bourbon Cru from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 225 ratings.