Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ) - Boulevard Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

570 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 570
Hads: 1,963
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 514
Gots: 784 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 570 | Hads: 1,963
Photo of flabbygums
1.42/5  rDev -66.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

It tastes an awful lot like Bourbon which you might like, however I did not find it appealing or palatable.

I don't see the connection to making beer taste like Bourbon. If you want to try this beer without buying it.. Take a glass of wine, and toss in a shot of bourbon. (273 characters)

Photo of BobZ
1.6/5  rDev -61.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

25.4oz. Bottle of the 2011 vintage poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Reddish brown with a nice frothy tan 1” head. Nice lacing

Smell: Some dark fruit, definitely some bourbon/booze, and a light sour funk.

Taste: Sour funk muted by bourbon, very little flavor development beyond that. This beer is definitely more “Flemish Red” than Quad. No real development of what I love in a quad, the deep dark fruit flavors, some hints of coffee and chocolate, balanced Belgian candy sugar to provide a light sweetness without becoming cloying, NONE of that. Sour cherry and bourbon comprise 99% of the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: Clean and well carbonated on the Palate.

Overall: I had tried to determine whether this beer had any sour characteristics prior to purchase and the feedback was more along the lines of “maybe / maybe not”. Let me remove all doubt, it DOES. I will review this beer as a quad and as such it is a major failure. I love Belgian quads and strong dark ales, they are my favorite styles of beer (by-far). I loathe sour beers. All I can say if you make a sour beer call it a sour beer, if I didn’t know better I’d call this an infected quad. (1,178 characters)

Photo of PlinytheFarter
2.14/5  rDev -48.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I don't like Boulevard beers at all. I think it's the yeast strains they use but they all have that same taste on the back end that makes me unhappy. With that said I figured based on reviews and the style I had to give them one more chance. My bad. This was supposedly barrel aged and Quad. I'm not saying Boulevard are liars but they are liars. I did however taste some very faint cherry tartness at the end. This actually faded away after a few more sips.

Pours a boring color that could be confused with a Leinies Red perhaps?

This beer smells fantastic if you enjoy the smell of wet socks.

The taste was like a watered down anything Unibroue with a lame attempt at putting cherries in it somehow. The cherry taste like an extract unlike lets say the fantastic New Glarus Cherry Tart. I don't see the point of spending the money on this when you could snag a Three Philosophers much easier. That is a Quad that looks, tastes, and feels like a Quad with cherry. Boulevard is not for me for I enjoy flavor instead of wet socks. I do love their design though and many many many people love their beers. Sorry guys, but cheers to Boulevard for brewing anyways!! (1,165 characters)

Photo of JAXSON
2.18/5  rDev -48%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This was an extra in a trade, thanks Jim. Pours cherry red with a bunch of large bubbles rising up, then receding to a collar around the edges. Nose is heavy oak, sour cherries, a light and sweet vinegar touch. Really comes across like some weird American sour. Mouth is super sharp carbonation with a palate of butter, oak, sour cherry, brett. I don't know if wild yeast was actually used with this but it has the wet sock aspect of brett. Alcohol heat and some caramel type malts bring up the back. I have to say, this is completely disgusting. Just way too much of everything, and the buttery, brett like elements clash horribly with the base beer. Could be a Cigar City sour, probably. (689 characters)

Photo of iabeerbaron
2.19/5  rDev -47.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

"Purchased at John's Grocery in Iowa City. This beer pours a dark brown/reddish color with a thick head. Aroma of sugar, cherries, oak, and alcohol. Flavor of cherries, sugar, and a whiskey flavor. A little too much for me. " It's been a while since I've had it so I wouldn't mind going back and revisiting a bottle to see if my tastes of changed. (347 characters)

Photo of oakbluff
2.3/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle # 6629 from 2009 vintage. Pours a thick cloudy caramel with a two finger head and thin lacing. Nose- plums, plastic notes, light cherry/brett, dusty. Taste- hot and thin with an unpleasant sourness to it. Really little depth to this except for the wood and malt sweetness. Finish has an unpleasant burn and abrasiveness to it. This is some bad hootch. (358 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
2.32/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Hazy, muddy, dark orange in color. To be honest, the look's a bit light and off. A 2 finger head forms easily, light tan in color.

Aroma is big bourbon, yeasty, funky, and actually overpowering-ly tart and off-putting even with the planned cherries.

Taste is much of the same: bourbon, yeast, sweetness, noticeable tartness, and yeasty, acidic and stringent. Not ruling out the possibility of a bum bottle.

Feel is medium in body, slightly creamy, low carbonation.

Maybe it was a bum bottle...the tart characters definitely didn't seem right... shared the bottle and we both ended up pouring some out in the end. (620 characters)

Photo of Crosling
2.67/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Dark brown color with a smooth, silky, creamy, long lasting head of white foam. Aromatics are very simple, a touch of cherry. Not much quad left in here, as the flavor is dominated by whiskey and sour fruits. Too sour, with no malt depth. The oak contribution didnt provide much nuance of coconut and vanilla, just funk. Not a beer I enjoy. (340 characters)

Photo of harrymel
2.7/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Batch 2010-1, Bb 11/2012

A: Pours an apricot ale with excellent clarity. Little to no head formation. Empty surface. Rare and transient lacing.

S: Not what I had expected. Cherries smell tart and at the forefront of the beer. As I readjust my nose, the grain starts to come through. This smells more like a Flanders Oud Bruin than a Quad. Interesting.

T: ABV is way to naked here. Jesus, it's difficult to get past the Alcohol in here. Brutal. Once I get past here, there are sweet grains, oak tones, sweetness. Edit: as I have allowed the beer to breath a bit more and warm, the bourbon becomes more welcoming, balances a little better with the cherries.

M: Medium to full body with high carb for the genre. Slicks the tongue and resonates as such. Syrupy.

D: This beer is a far shy from the Sixth Glass I do so enjoy. The barrels and cherries overwhelm this beer. Maybe time does this beer justice, but right now - I can't handle it. (941 characters)

Photo of CaptainTripps
2.7/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

reviewing from notes, 750ml corked and caged bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip.

*Cork was a PAIN to get off

A: Upon opening, the beer poured a hazy reddish brown color; beer sort of resembles a hazy flemish red. 2 fingers worth of head came with the pour that disappeared quickly, little to no lacing left on glass.

S: Cherries, cherries, cherries. Cherries are the main aroma coming off this beer followed by a tart/sour funkiness. Bourbon with a small amount of vanilla character are present as well as some alcohol heat. I can't tell where the quad is in this beer.

T: There is some what of a quad base in this beer (you will find small, SMALL amounts of dark fruits and spices), but for the most part this beer taste like a bourbon barrel aged flemish red. On that note, it is a very interesting beer on how the cherry tartness is playing with the vanilla bourbon qualities. There is quiet the amount of booze coming from this beer as well, could use some more time in the cellar.
I am going to only give this a 3/5 because while i find the beer interesting for what it is, the beer is no where near a quad.

M: Medium bodied beer that is slightly creamy. Carbonatin is good throughout. Pretty boozy with some heat coming off the tail end of the beer.

D: Pretty poor on the scale of drinkability, the boozyness is really hurting it. Has some bite on that finish that is a little much to consume alot of. Also the tartness really wears down the palate.

When i opened this beer i thought they had bottled a flemish red into a bottle that said "quad." Was not what i was expecting what so ever. (1,605 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
2.78/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Cherrywood reddish brown color. Fluffy beige head elapses into a thin skim in the shape of a gorilla skull. Few lacey speckles but nothing to brag about.

Smells like cherry syrup and American oak. Steely, light toffee more akin to well bourbon than something I'd want to age beer on.

Tastes discordant. I can pick out vanilla bean yogurt, grenadine, light toffee and citrus bourbon-y fade. Some dark bread in there. Messy and all over the place. Thin, unsexy body.

Watery, wimpy, and sloppy compared to better bourbon beers such as GI or Backwoods Bastard. I'm off the bandwagon on this one. (596 characters)

Photo of tkdchampxi
2.95/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is not a Quad. It tastes like champagne mixed with bourbon, or just a bad whiskey soda. There is just the subtlest hint of cherries. Maybe it's because my bottle was a bit over a year old? I don't know, but this is on my do not drink again list. Wish I hadn't bought two.

T: Where is the Belgian yeast character or the flavors and aromas of dark fruit? I get nothing but the lightest hint of cherry, completely overshadowed by whiskey/ bourbon.

F: And as for mouthfeel, this is not smooth and rich - it is effervescent and carbonated like champagne.

Smell and Look: Mostly looks fine, but smells kinda like it tastes. (629 characters)

Photo of Wadsey
2.99/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad, 2010

Served in New Belgium globe glass

A: Pours hazy amber-brown with a two-finger, eggshell-white head that has little retention but some sporadic lacing. Nice effervesce for such a big beer. 

 S: Tart cherries, light bourbon, caramel, and alcohol. There is a relatively strong note of barn funk, too. Keeping my nose in the glass reveals additional aromas of vanilla, coconut, and mint.

T: Tart cherries and alcohol vie for domination in this beer. Light bourbon, caramel, barn funk and musty basement bring up rear. The other elements are more or less lost. Alcohol notes gain strength on palate as beer warms up. 

M: Medium-heavy body and medium carbonation. Still, BBQ manages to be a little thin. Definitely warming. 

O: The beer smells great, but pales in other categories, especially taste, which is a terrible place to have the weakest link. Unfortunately, BBQ wears its abv on its sleeve and the alcohol approximates the rubbing variety.  (991 characters)

Photo of ShiJohn
3.09/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The bourbon flavor profile is not subtle at all and can be very overpowering. The finish feels similar to a subdued shot of bourbon. This is not the best production coming out of Boulevard. (189 characters)

Photo of billab914
3.1/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Vintage 2009, batch 1. Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a murky, dark caramel color with a thin white lacing scattered across the top of the beer.

The aroma shows some tart, slightly funky fruit notes to it. I get some sweet malt notes mixed with a cherry like fruitiness. The vanilla seems to be the strongest character to the barrel aging, but the oak and bourbon are there too. The funky, tart fruity notes were unexpected, but actually pretty good.

The taste starts off with some sweeter malty flavors with some of the vanilla barrel character as well. It starts to turn kind of funky and fruity pretty quickly with a lot of cherry flavors coming out. Towards the finish some of the oak and bourbon come out. It's pretty sweet overall, but still has some funky, sour undertones.

The mouthfeel is thin and very light for the style. Carbonation is below average, and would have probably fit with the quad flavors but it doesn't with the sour ones.

Overall it didn't seem to be anything like it was supposed to be, but actually seemed like a halfway decent American Wild. I liked the cherry and bourbon flavors it had as well as the funky, sour undertones in it. What hurt it was it became too sweet and the mouthfeel was just off for either style. Not a good quad, but not a bad American Wild at this point for this particular bottle. Had I held it to a quad standard my rating would be a lot lower, but I'm going to cut it some slack since I somewhat liked what it turned into. (1,517 characters)

Photo of teromous
3.21/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

BB13240-1 08-2015

A: Medium shade of hazy orange and brown with a fluffy eggshell white head. Lots of visible carbonation. Pretty good lacing on the glass, mostly spots.

S: A bit of plum and then some date comes through. Very characteristic of a Quad but not a whole lot of Belgian scent. Slightly woody smelling.

T: Alcohol with a mellow honeydew melon flavor, a bit bready and some earthy flavor like cedar and tea.

M: Fairly dry mouthfeel, medium-full body, good carbonation.

O: Overall I thought it was an okay Quad. It wouldn't be my first choice in a line-up by a long shot, but it's good in a pinch. I didn't get any bourbon flavor but I did get a bit of oak. It wasn't a spectacular or memorable beer but it had a decent enough flavor profile. (756 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
3.21/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The Dooper shared this one with me a week back. We had The Sixth Glass Quad and this one back to back. Cheers for the cool beer night man!

From a 75cl bottle into a snifter
Bottle 1,192 of 11,248. Why bother?
Best by November 2012
Brewed with cherries

Note: We had an infected bottle of this a while ago, so the suspense for this one was massive...

APPEARANCE: Pours out dark auburn and yields a one finger, medium looking, cream white head with only decent retention this time. Cloudy with piles of carbonation evident. A good foam cap remains leaving some nice lacing down the sides of the glass. Same as the base beer, but the head vanished much quicker here.

SMELL: Medium strength nose of cherries, bourbon notes and roasted malts. The oak and bourbon aromas are outplayed by the cherries. Interesting, but a little too cherry dominant.

TASTE: Cherries up front for sure, with some bourbon barrel notes in there as well. Some oak, vanilla and alcohol from the barrel at the finish. A big and lingering aftertaste of brett cherries, caramel sweetness, light bourbon barrel flavors and some alcohol. Definitely cherry heavy, though the barrel and base beer play a better roll here than they did in the nose.

PALATE: Lighter body and higher levels of carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slighly dry. A little too light and carbonated perhaps.

OVERALL: Well, at least it wasn't infected. This was an interesting beer, but it wasn't really as advertised. A little too cherry heavy for me, especially considering it's supposed to be a bourbon barrel aged quad. A nice drink that I am glad to have tried, but not something I'll look for again. Cheers for sharing Doops. Another successful beer night! (1,748 characters)

Photo of ChrisPro
3.23/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted blind as part of top 10 quad tasting with callmemickey and sideshowe. NOTE: Attempted to review this beer to style so my scores are reflective of this.

A - Murky amber brown with very little head.

S - The first thing that hits is a blast of tart cherry. There are also lots of notes of oak and vanilla as weel as straight up alcohol.

T - Sweet caramel, but then a really funky sour that overpowers everything. Some roastiness and a dry oaky finish with lots of yeast. This does not taste like a quad.

M - A bit of heat, slightly tannic and good carbonation.

O - A great beer, but this really doesn't taste to style. We had a long debate on whether this was infected (http://beeradvocate.com/forum/read/3643968#3644056) and this was a great beer, but it just didn't fit with the others. This was #10 of 10 for me. (824 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
3.27/5  rDev -22%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from a bottle into a tasting glass at NoTB.

The color is very light for a quad, a light tan with a hint of amber. The head is light tan and rises several fingers and has amazing retention and lacing. The head lasts at least 5 minutes.

The aroma is super light, only a hint of hint in there to me.

The taste is really bland and not much flavor. There is a lot of alcohol noticeable and at the end only the slightest hint of cherries.

The feel is ok, very warm finish.

Overall, I was expecting some great stuff but disappointed by the blandness and lack of hiding the alcohol. (592 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.28/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage. Thanks to angrybabboon for sharing the bottle.

Appearance: Hazed dark garnet. Deep browns at edges. Head is white and creamy. Collar is nice and thick. A small cap.

Smell: Tart cherry flesh. Some tannic skin. Bourbon adds a nice backing complexity. Vanilla, oak, and some nice Belgian spice. Touches of clove. Big malty sweetness pushed caramel, touches of toffee and some biscuit malt. Bigger push of cherries as it warms.

Taste: Bigger hit of bourbon than the nose would indicate. Lots of vanilla and caramel. Some more caramel malt sweetness pushes through. Lingering Belgian spice. Some tart cherry skin. Some missing cherry flesh. As it warms it becomes a bourbon Belgian spice bomb. The cherry drops out almost entirely. Biscuit and toffee. Caramel candy.

Mouthfeel: Thin side of medium body. Minimal carbonation. Some lingering dryness from the alcohol.

Overall: I need me some real BBQ.

Smells interesting, tastes like it's name.This is not a good thing. Lacks a little dimension. (1,014 characters)

Photo of claspada
3.29/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 2010-1; best by 11/2012.

Pours a hazy crimson color with a nice ample 1-2 inch head with nice soapy white lacing. I love a nice sticky looking beast.

Aromas are kind of a let down to be honest. All I get is a boat ton of sour cherries and alcohol; not even bourbon but like a vodka or cheap grain alcohol booziness. There is a slight caramel maltiness but the sour fruit and booze overshaddows the base beer.

The tastes are equally dissapointing to be honest. Initially I get the nice dark brown ale sour cherry beer taste like supplication but the alcohol rears its ugly head soon after. The sour cherries flavors almost taste bitter combined with the strong alcohol tastes. There is a slight vanilla taste on the backend which is nice but still can't combat the alcohol heat.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied. Coats the palate nicely which would be great if I enjoy the flavors. Carbonation is nice and strong here which is a plus for such a high ABV offering preventing it from being cloying or syrupy.

Overall this was a letdown for me. Maybe it is too young but I cannot forgive a beer for being this hot after a year plus no matter what. I am not a fan of cherry addition beers in general but I enjoyed Supplication because I can appreciate a good, well-made beer, but this is a miss for me. I have loved all the Boulevard Smokestack beers I have had to date but I will not be seeking this one ever again. I cannot say this very often, but I wish there were more bourbon flavors in this beer and less pure alcohol burn. I will give Boulevard a pass here because all the rest of the beers I have sampled from them have been top quality. Not every beer can be a winner... (1,688 characters)

Photo of BeerImmediately
3.32/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

2014 edition, 750ml into widemouth glass.

Pours with a short, but long-lasting creamy tan head over a surprisingly clear/bright, amber body Nice lacing.

Aromas include a metallic ting, candied cherries, dark bread, and brown sugar.

Flavors are a little disappointing. Chemical quality overrides some of the tastier elements. Some vanilla/oak, touch of cherry, alcohol, smoky/roasted grains.

Pretty thick mouthfeel, as you might imagine. Started a bit effervescently, and calmed down within 15 min.

Overall, it was the first Boulevard that I felt didn't far exceed the general population in its respective style. (626 characters)

Photo of alcstradamus
3.35/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Received as a very generous extra from Bobbydigi. Thanks!

Pours a very deep amber/copper color with a finger and a half of head that settles down to a nice collar.

Smell is dominated by fusel alcohols at first. Underneath is a bouquet of caramel, toffee, sunflowers, lemon zest, chocolate, dark bread, and mozzarella cheese? Quite rich and complex, but held back a bit by the stinging alcohol and a tad bit of plastic that creeps in every once in a while. After quite a bit of agitation and some warming, the booze seems to be subsiding a bit.

The taste is...well...weird. A highly sweet, grape-like character dominates the front while a watery orange peel finish stays in the mouth after swallow. Beyond that, I really have a tough time describing it. Maybe bourbon soaked leather? Some fingernail polish remover. I'm really not enjoying this one very much.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation levels that make it feel a bit heavier than it is. Drinkability is pretty low here for me. There is really not much to make this beer stand out for me. I feel the potential is here, but there are too many off flavors for the good aspects to overcome. (1,162 characters)

Photo of natasharai
3.38/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass with 2cm medium textured head (slightly creamy but still a little bubbly), light tan in color. Beer is hazy brownish red colored. The head retention is great! not really any lacing.

Smell: Strong sour smell, and cherries up front. Also a lot of yeast and oaky smell.

Taste: Sour and cherry flavors at first, and as it warms more the oak flavor is more prevalent.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, good amount of carbonation consisting of small bubbles.

Overall: this is an ok Quad, quite different the bourbon barrel only provides an oaky smell/taste and not a strong one. (608 characters)

Photo of mcallister
3.41/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Mahagony colored and cloudy opaque. Great looking with a tan head of 2 fingers that fades down to spotty lacing.

Almost smells like a corked wine ufortunately. Very woody with wet cardboard, black cherry, hints of bourbon and vanilla with some fig and date.

Very nice but almost like a flemish red. Black cherry, alcohol, bourbon, funky barnyardy earthy flavors, vanilla, date, fig, plum raisin, sweet finish with moderate complexity. Nice but not what I was expecting. (471 characters)

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Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ) from Boulevard Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 570 ratings.