Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ) - Boulevard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ)Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,946 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,946
Reviews: 580
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 10.82%
Wants: 508
Gots: 783 | FT: 78
Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co. visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  11.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jdubjacket on 07-11-2008

Based loosely on the Smokestack Series’ The Sixth Glass, this abbey-style quadrupel is separated into a number of oak bourbon barrels where it ages for varying lengths of time, some for up to three years. Cherries are added to make up for the “angel's share” of beer lost during barrel aging. Selected barrels are then blended for optimum flavor. The resulting beer retains only very subtle cherry characteristics, with toffee and vanilla notes coming to the fore.

19 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,946 | Reviews: 580
Reviews by Dreizhen:
More User Reviews:
Photo of rorjets
4.91/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A special gift from my son, who gave it to me on Christmas Day, 2013. I cellared it for a year, and decided to start the New Year, and tick off my 1,0000th beer rating on BA, with this truly excellent brew. Upon pulling the cork, a sweet aroma of cherries and licorice arise from the bottle. Poured from the 750 ml bottle into a Jester King goblet, the smell is intensified. The head is thick, light brown in color, with fine lacing that traces the glass as the beer is quaffed. The body of the brew is orange-brown, with tiny bubbles rising from below, like champagne. The first sip of this abbey style quadrupel highlights the aroma, with a trace of vanilla and bourbon flavor coming through. Despite it's 11.8 abv you can barely taste the alcohol, which is layered with all the other flavors that roll around on your tongue. I know not many beers I enjoy this coming year will be quite as grand as this one, because it sets the bar high, but I am thrilled to be starting 2015 with such a fantastic example of what beer can be!

Photo of BEERchitect
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An increadible beer that defies styles, challenges the taste buds, and pushes the edges of experimental to the brim. All that, and this is a really good beer!

The beer pours a deep ruby, mohogany color that seems to glow with more crimson highlights than any other beer. An off white head takes a 1/4" foot hold and never relinquishes. Lots of lacing on the glass and a moderate haze throughout. A handsome looking beer.

Mouthwatering aromas of deep amber and toasty malts that give a firm base of toffee, rich breads, and a hint of chocolate tucked in closely behind. A lot of fruity character comes undoutedly from the cherry additions but also from yeasty esters giving more berry, apple, and fig character. All this wrapped up in a bourbony, vanilla, and caramel complexity.

Flavors swirl with the bourbon, fruits, and hearty malts giving a newly found taste with every sip. Agressive in the strength of alcohol but delicate in the soft vanillans and cotton-candy caramels. Wood chracter gives a nutty, oaky, and slightly musty character that accents the cherries and gives the yeasty flavors a bit of company. Perhaps a bit tart at times, the beer may have a few bugs on board- but it could be all cherries too.

Body is full, round, rich, but not thick or heavy. In true Quad fashion, the beer's carbonation lifts it off of the surfaces of the mouth and seem to partially evaporate just before the warm and lingering finish.

This is a terrific beer that belongs among the best. Thanks BlueOkie!

Photo of brentk56
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with a bounteous head that leaves a hieroglyphic pattern of lace on the chalice

Smell: Figs, cherries and brown sugar, up front, with the bourbon barrel clearly coming through; a leathery aspect, too

Taste: Fruity, at the outset, with figs first, brown sugar next and then sour cherries arriving; by mid-palate, the bourbon barrel takes over, with the oaky vanilla flavors dominating, perhaps a bit too much; after the swallow, the sour fruit and bourbon flavors are prominent

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with a high level of carbonation; plenty of warmth as well

Drinkability: Certainly interesting, but the combination of the sour cherry and bourbon flavors just doesn't cut it for me, from a drinkability perspective

Photo of brewskifan55
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass. Thanks, Lucky Town, for the share.

A: Clear amber with a mocha one finger head that sits pretty for a while.

S: Bourbon prevails with light cherry and vanilla notes. Sultry and decadent.

T: Holy shit! Without a doubt, the best quad I've tried. So smooth with a bourbon entry followed by dark fruits (raisins, dates, plums). Then the vanilla/cherry backbone smooths this one out so well, you just can't help but want more, more.

M: Medium to heavy with thick, chewy carbonation.

O: I will be seeking this one out very soon. One of the stellar beers to be savored, aged and then savored again.

Photo of brownbeer
4.67/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottling consumed 5-13-10

Deep cherry color with great spectacle of creamy head that doesn't quit 'til you do.

The nose is of sour cherry jam and vanilla seamlessly blending with cinnamon sticks and an ever so slight funk. Phenomenal.

The taste is similar. Just throw in some chocolate, caramel, and the silkiest, most perfectly carbonated mouthfeel possible and you have it.

The 08 is truely an amazing quad with a completely original twist. I wish I could say the same about the 09 BBQ, but the carbonation and flavor integration just isn't there.

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

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. III Issue I:

Oregon cherries on a Quad in a bourbon barrel: a perfect snapshot of American brewing.

Tan foam rises to the top of the glass without a problem; a hazed, brownish amber color. The aroma is a marriage of semi-tart cherries, vanilla beans and fusel alcohol, thick wad of caramel and a deep fruitiness. Smooth and creamy with a heavy malt body; feigns syrupy. Bam, there is that traditional Quad booze alcohol character that hits the palate with each sip. The maltiness settles things down with a heavy blanket of caramel, and within are layers of vanilla and hints of wood. The cherry flavor sits right smack in the middle, small but juicy. The wood flavor develops more when the beer warms; the cherry becomes juicier and the breath of alcohol becomes bigger toward the impressive ending. Sweet, juicy, boozy finish.

Spot-on for a Quad with some lovely extras, a beer of the ages ... with every sip, we heard an angel cry.

Photo of NWer
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Loud "pop" from pull of the cork with no follow-up overflow.
Poured into tulip results in effervescent bubbles in the beer clinging to side of glass with moderate head.
I had no idea what to expect & just knew it was a Quad. Whatever that entails.
Aroma was full of cherries and not much else.
Very surprised by the sour taste. Took me back.
Cherries still there. Alcohol front and center.
A Sour disguised as a Quad in a very good way.
Tastes & feels stronger than the stated 11.5 ABV. Be careful with this one.

Photo of cschepers
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Caged/Corked bottle #2260 of 10630 poured into two oversized wine glasses: one for me, one for the misses.

A - Pours a reddish brown with an off-white creamy head. Some nice lacing and a bit of sticking here and there.

S - Sweet cherries, oak, some yeast. Smell some hard alcohol... nose says "vodka," label says "bourbon."

T - Sweet cherries, candi sugar, plums, bourbon. A bit of phenols here and there. Metallic-twinged hops are present when the beer is cold, but pretty much disappear as it warms. A bit of yeastiness here and there, as well as some mediciney-ness (but its well controlled). A bit of bourbon in the back end as the beer warms, as well as a little bit of booziness down the back of my throat as it warms. By the taste, its hard to imagine this is almost 12% abv.

M - thick and smooth. Good carbonation. Typical quad here.

D - Taste-wise, very high. Alcohol-wise, maybe not so much. One bomber'll do ya just fine, probably. But that's okay, because this is a beer to be savored.

This is an absolutely fantastic beer, easily one of the best I've ever had. Would take this in a heartbeat over most any of the Belgian quads (St. Bernie, Rochefort, etc.). I still can hardly believe this is brewed in KC, MO. Such a great beer...

Photo of Beerswag
3.97/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle 2013, aged 1 year. Pours a light colored head, at least four-fingers, gone fast, medium lacing. Color of the beer is lighter than most quads, amber and medium dark Carmel tones..the smell is Carmel, and malt, with some fruity hints. Taste is Carmel, vanilla, and candied sugar, with hints of pecan. Light body for the style which makes the mouthfeel pleasant for such a strong abv. Overall really good, just not great. Simple profile for the style. Age on this bottle, and the way Otha's smoothed out, makes me think this one could go much longer and do well. Pair with dessert, sweeter-dishes, beef, venison, red-meat..cheese pairing would be Gouda, cow's milk cheeses.

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. 2011 version

Appearance: orange-brown in color, hazy, 1 inch head, high carbonation

Smell: oak barrel, red wine, and dark fruit

Taste: complex, oaky, almost like a good aged red wine. There is taste of cherries and other dark fruit.

Mouthfeel: a bit sour, oaky, and a bit sweet high carbonation, medium-heavy bodied

Overall: An excellent quad and one that I would get again. I like the combination of oak and grapes. I would say I would get Rye-on-Rye over this but this is still a great offering from Boulevard.

Photo of Mora2000
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a cream colored head. Aroma is Belgian yeast and slightly sour dark fruit. Get some tart cherries and alcohol. The flavor is very complex, with bourbon, vanilla, caramel, cherry, oak and alcohol all making appearances. The beer is slightly boozy. Medium body and medium carbonation. Even with the beer being nearly 12 percent, it is easy to drink. That being said, it is still a sipper that gets better as it warms.

Photo of frenchblood21
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into wine glass.

Appearance- Great looking beer...almost looks like a trappist ale. Dark amber with little transparency. Very little lacing.

Smell- Cherries and honey right up front. That is followed by bourbon and little vanilla.

Taste- Way more bourbon in the taste than in the nose. Cherries are right up front too. You can definitely taste the barrel.

Mouthfeel- Just the right consistency. Feels like a mixed drink with all the flavors of bourbon, vanilla and cherries. Really quite nice.

Overall- A really well-rounded beer. Not a life-changer, but so worth finding. Trade for it if you have to.

Photo of 1Adam12
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Amber color, very cloudy. Not much head, but you can hear the bubbles. Smells of bourbon, cherries, with a hint a vanilla. Tastes like it smells but in reverse order of the way it smells. Vanilla is subtle. Cherries are perfectly balanced with the bourbon, very smooth. Full mouth feel that makes this a nice slow sipper. I've drank 5 bottles total, and I have 3 more in the cellar to see if it gets even better. Amazing.

Photo of bsp77
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Beautiful garnet with thick cream colored head and bubbly lacing.

Smell: Sour cherries, oak, musty earth, toffee, vanilla and some booziness.

Taste: The sweet toffee and plum Quad core of this beer is nicely balanced by sour cherries and strong oak characteristics. Some earthy and vanilla notes add to the complexity.

Feel: Very full yet effervescent body that Boulevard pulls off much better than most American craft brewers could even dream of. Very warming.

Overall: This is definitely better than the Sixth Glass core beer because the cherries and oak really help to combat the sweetness. (Not that the Sixth Glass is bad, it is great, just a wee bit too sweet). Boulevard is fantastic at Belgian beers and barrel aging, and this shows off both those strengths. Just docking it ever so slightly because I personally don't care for too much cherry.

Photo of NilocRellim
4.01/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle.

The beer poured a hazy ruby-red.

It smelled sweet and tart cherries.

Tasted strong, tart-cherries, slightly smokey, with an oak/bourbon barrel finish. Another sipping beer. Each sip went down warm.

Would I buy it again? Sure.

Photo of dogfishandi
3.81/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 Vintage. 750ml bottle split with fellow BA's poured into a Bruery snifter.

pours out a dark red/ maroon color, cloudy, with a big 2-3 fingers of khaki head, eventually settled to a thick retentive layer with lots of sticky lacing.

in the aroma, some mild tart cherries, a bit of booze, hard to tell if its from the bourbon barrel or the high ABV. a hint of a dark fruity malt. overall, the aroma comes off a bit medecinal.

tart, slightly acidic cherries are mostly at the forefront. a bit of bourbony alcohol and a bit of a bready, slightly dark fruity quad like malt comes in, but then the cherries come back and make for some medecinal flavors.

seems much lighter than it actually is maybe from the tart cherries. slightly warming.

overall, i wouldve liked more of the quad to show through, i think the cherries really muddle things and the overall focus of the beer seems lost. this beer sounded delicious and i was really looking forward to it for awhile, but i was a bit let down. maybe just a bourbon barrel quad without the cherries wouldve worked better.

Photo of ehammond1
3.65/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2010)

Thanks for sharing, DarthKostrizer!

(Aged for 1 year)

Reddish brown with a thin khaki colored head that leaves spots and thin sheets of lacing down the glass. Pretty.

Quite a nice aroma and probalby my favorite aspect of this beer. It's sweeter and far more fruity than probably any other quad I've ever had. There's lots of cherry aroma, along with plenty of caramel and toffee sweetness, and some mild oak character.

The flavor follows the aroma, though the cherries are quite dominant, almost overshadowing the other, more complex flavors of the beer. This is certainly a cherry quad and it shows. I wish there was more dark fruit and dark malt character, as this one comes off relatively one-note, while still tasting good--just a bit too sweet.

Medium to thick bodied with moderate carbonation. I really like my quads to excel in the mouthfeel department, and this one fell just a bit short.

A nice, sweet cherry quad, though there are better examples of the style more readily available. That being said, I was really excited and happy I got the opportunity to try this one.

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

Bought this one out on a trip to visit my brother and gradschools in Colorado. Heard it was a winner and finally cracked it open.

Appearance- Pours a burnt-orange with about a half a finger of beige head on top. Some mild beading and lacing left as I drink, with some beading carbonation throughout.

Smell- Very sweet. Lots of rich caramel and fruit primarily. A little bit of bourbon-vanilla coming through as well.

Taste- Surprising amount of fruit on the palate. Lots of candied dark fruit come through in addition to the very sweet caramel maltiness. The bourbon barrel is present again lending smoothing notes of vanilla and oak to round out the flavor. Really no alcohol showing despite the high ABV.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is pretty spot on with decent enough levels of carbonation and not too thin or too thick and syrupy. Drinkability is surprisingly good despite the sweetness, as the alcohol is covered quite well. Still a sipper however.

Overall, a fantastic take on a quad. Almost comes across like a very fruity barleywine rather than a quad, but the barrel-aging really smoothed out the beer and created an interesting take on the style. Give it a try.

Photo of MattyG85
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a corked 750 ml bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet. Label best by date of 1/08/2015.

Appearance: Pours a very hazy brownish amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of off white head that fades into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: A yeasty, boozy, and fairly sour complex aroma with big hints of whiskey, cherry, and fruits. Upfront barrel presence with big hints of bourbon whiskey, oak, vanilla, wood, and alcohol. Big hints of sour cherries. Belgian yeast along with hints of clove, pepper, and cinnamon spicing. Fruit esters of bananas, apple, and pear. Sweet hints of Belgian candied sugar and brown sugar. Toasted malt with hints of sweet caramel, toffee, biscuit, and toast. Dark fruit hints of raisin, fig, prune, and plum. A really complex and good aroma.

Taste: As good as the aroma hints at, a big yeasty and boozy Belgian style taste with notes of bourbon, cherry, and fruits. Big barrel taste upfront with notes of bourbon whiskey, vanilla, oak, wood, and booze. Sour taste of cherries. Belgian yeast with a mix of spices including clove, peppers, and cinnamon. Fruity esters of bananas, apple, and pear. Sweet taste of Belgian candied sugar and brown sugar. Bready toasted malt with notes of caramel, toffee, toast, and biscuit. Dark fruit undertones of fig, raisin, prune, dates, and plum. Taste is fairly sweet and boozy but still balanced. Very good.

Mouthfeel: Body is on the heavier side of medium. Carbonation is moderate. Sweet and somewhat syrupy as expected but its far from cloying. Alcohol is felt but things are surprisingly smooth overall.

Overall: A really great twist on a Belgian Quad. Good fruit and spice presence with a big kick of bourbon and cherries. It all comes together great.

Photo of smc143
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I ran straight down to Cellar Rat over my lunch hour today to fetch a couple bottles of the new limited Smokestack brew.

I do not own a beer goblet. I need to buy one. In the meantime, I decided to experiment with the gorgeous but useless crystal wine goblets received as a wedding gift 6 years ago & once or twice used.

Poured into the goblet, the head bubbled up quickly, brown and effervescent and dissipated quickly. The inch & a half of head left just a thin lace around the edge of the glass in minutes. The color is dark, brownish reddish maroon.

The initial sniff smells strongly of cherries, and the first sip gave a pretty strong hit of the same. A little, fizzy, cherry hit, followed by with a slightly bitter, tangy, vanilla-y taste. This definitely falls in the fruit beer category for me, but I like it. (This is unusual.)

After the initial few sips, I start noticing the bourbon influence, and it takes on a slightly woodsy element. It's warming. I think I like this beer a lot. It's an unusual beer.

Photo of whoneeds8
4.57/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2-2009 Bottle 248 of 11248

Poured into a Westmalle Chalice ruby red with a half finger white head that actually sticks around for a while. The scent is almost like a wine scent beacuse of the grape/raisins scent from the quad with bourbon and wood from the barrels. There's also some hints of vanilla in the nose. The cherries are very noticeable at first, then the quad comes out with raisins. Then the mouth is warmed by the vanilla and bourbon wood. The body is light however the carbonation is high. The alcohol is noticable but not over powering.

Photo of chinchill
4.06/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large 2013 bottle served in a small snifter.

More-or-less clear dark amber with a weak light tan head.

The sweet aroma clearly reflects the oak bourbon barrel (BB) treatment, but grains are also evident.

Flavor; Mildly sweet. The high ABV adds an unmistakeable warmth but is not harsh and is otherwise well hidden.

Feel: light and lively, especially for style

O: Recommended. BB treatment obvious but not overdone.

Photo of timontheroad
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark reddish amber color, almost opaque. One finger head, faded to a thin film, but laced nicely. The smell was great, dark cherries, a little caramel and vanilla and some sweet candy sugar and a slight hint of bourbon. The taste was very much dark fruit, with the bourbon really becoming more prominent in the taste. The mouthfeel was medium bodied, with a nice carbonation bite, along with a little burn from the alcohol. Overall, I loves me some Sixth Glass, this really took it up a notch.

Photo of jeonseh
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Chimay goblet

A - Brown with a light golden color near the top. There is a lot of carbonation with this one. It had a caramel color head that quickly dissipated

S - Big whiffs of vanilla, oak, and bourbon. It also has a slight sour smell with cherries, lemon, and a slight funk. Very complex nose as each whiff brings a slightly different aspect of the nose. It's like someone took the nose of Red Poppy and combined it with the nose of a nice BA beer

T - At first, there is a nice dark fruit flavor as I get hints of plum and brandied dates. There is a strong bourbon flavor that comes through with vanilla and light oak. There is a strong alcoholic kick that comes through on the middle before the more funky flavors come through. There is a slight cherry and lemon sour flavor with a light barnyard funk that lingers on the end. The beer is good but the strong alcohol kick that comes with the transition between bourbon and the funky flavors is a bit rough around the edges

MF - Thick body with a light syrupiness to it. There is light carbonation at the end that comes through with the cherry and lemon flavors. There is a slight oak tingle that comes through on the tongue.

O - Overall a good, complex, and interesting beer from Boulevard. It is definitely interesting as it brings a lot of different flavors. It has a strong influence from the bourbon and the cherries. It does well to bring each flavor boldly; however I wish they were a little better blended together as the transition from bourbon to sour and funk is a little rough.

Photo of glid02
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle via Brodie.

Pours a slightly hazy brownish-copper color with a half-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of sweet medium malts, dark fruits, vanilla, bourbon, and tart cherries, in that order. As the beer warms the tart cherry flavors increase slightly.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though more refined. Sweet medium malt flavors kick things off and are quickly joined by good amounts of dark fruit flavors - plums with hints of raisins. Midway through the ship good amounts of bourbon come in with a vanilla and slightly boozy kick. Finally, near the end of the sip hints of tart cherry flavors work their way into things, carrying through to a crisp and lightly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could have a few more with no problems.

Overall I enjoyed this beer but I would like to see it without the addition of cherries. The fruit aromas and flavors from the yeast don't really have a chance to shine because the cherry flavors take over. Still, it's a very good beer and well worth a shot.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ) from Boulevard Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,946 ratings.