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Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ) - Boulevard Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,465 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,465
Reviews: 509
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 448
Gots: 527 | FT: 51
Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co. visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  11.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: jdubjacket on 07-11-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ) Alström Bros
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Ratings: 1,465 | Reviews: 509 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Terrific beer brought by the brewery to Cole's, on the way to Cooperstown. This one put aside for the real geeks, here I am. Brewed with cherries, and that aroma is a gift that keeps on giving. Great white head, lace. 18 months of cellaring, a good mellowing. Good quad.

Sammy, Aug 01, 2008
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

t0rin0, Aug 26, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to frenetic7 for sharing this one at the post Bruery Reserve Society party bottle share!

2011 vintage.

Pours a murky honey orange with no head and no lace. Smell is quite fruity with some vanilla, wood, and bourbon aromas. Taste is of bourbon, vanilla, and wood up front with a fruity aftertaste. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good barrel aged beer but it tastes better than it smells.

UCLABrewN84, Mar 19, 2012
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -5.7%

djrn2, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a darker shade of amber brown with a slight off white to tan head. Some spotty lacing. Nose brings a hefty dose of bourbon along with some nice vanilla, oak, dark fruit, spicy yeast, and a bit of brown sugar. Taste is mostly bourbon along with some nice sweet malt and some Belgian characteristics. Slight amounts of bourbon-based booze and a nice creaminess to it. Drinks really well. Quite unique and very enjoyable.

Thorpe429, Oct 17, 2010
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -5.7%

zestar, Jul 24, 2014
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -5.7%

nmann08, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

acurtis, Sep 30, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
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

brentk56, Feb 05, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Sure I eat what I advertise. Sure I eat Wheaties for breakfast. A good bowl of Wheaties with bourbon can't be beat."

--Dizzy Dean

Batch 1-2008. Murky caramel in the center and blurry apricot nearer the edges. The firm ecru colored crown reached three fingers on the pour, something that is almost unheard of with barrel-aged beer of this ABV. It looks pretty good during descent, but doesn't deposit much sudsy residue on the glass.

The nose is sweetish and earthy and brown malty, with a modest bourbon presence and no cherries. Not the powerhouse that was expected, though time and warming could change that. Looks like the last chance for craft beer immortality is on the palate.

Bourbon Barrel Quad is a wonderful big beer that has taken more than two years in the cellar in stride. It seems that the body/mouthfeel has broken down a bit (which wasn't unexpected), but the flavor definitely delivers. It helps if you love bourbon whiskey, because it's much more apparent on the taste buds than in the nose.

Mouth, tongue, esophageal and belly warming are more suited to December or January cold than August heat. Then again, good beer knows no season. Flavors include brown bread covered with orange marmalade and cherry jam, English toffee, vanilla bean and several staves worth of oak. What an outstanding sipper.

The only (teensy weensy) fly in the ointment is a mouthfeel that has seen better days. Wait just a minute... by the midway point of the bottle it gains a little chewiness to go along with the glassy smoothness of perfect carbonation.

Bourbon Barrel Quad is yet another outstanding Smokestack Series Ale from the talented folks at Boulevard. Hey guys, if you're listening, please bring back a few of your greatest hits... like Imperial Stout and BBQ. As regular releases if possible.

BuckeyeNation, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep copper color ale with a great big foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of caramel and light toffee malt with some light dry fruits notes and some even more subtle notes of vanilla. Taste is also a nice mix between some caramel malt with balanced sweetness and some dry figs with a well rounded finish with a hint of vanilla from the bourbon. Barrel-aging is not as dominant as expected but bring a well rounded finish to this beer. Body is above average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well done though a not a Quad as per the precise style guideline but then who cares.

Phyl21ca, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of BEERchitect
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
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!

BEERchitect, Oct 08, 2009
Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Texasfan549, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Excellent beer, glad I finally had the opportunity to try this one. A more then generous 8 ounce sample lit me up pretty well afterwards.

The pour was a deep rustic orange, nearly brown in color with a huge beige head that just rippled and foamed up to an ungodly height before settling back down to earth and letting us all take a deep breath. Aroma immediatly smacks of that sweet vanilla, bourbon tone I was hoping to find, but letting it warm lets some nice notes of fig, apples, pears, and brown sugar rear their heads and let their prescence become quite known. Smooth, nearly perfect flavor here, and I swear there is no way this is 12 percent as I was downing it like a champ! Rich vanilla and bourbon give way to a brown sugar soaked apple and pear like flavor. Hints of raisins, light spices, nice notes of grass and a smooth, delicate and oak laden finish.

Overall a superb effort. This is an underrated beer as far as I am concerned. One of the better things I have had the pleasure of drinking in the last few months.

mikesgroove, Feb 07, 2010
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -5.7%

kjkinsey, Jul 03, 2012
Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -5.7%

GRG1313, Sep 08, 2013
Photo of womencantsail
3.65/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to both Alicia and Paul for sending me bottles of this recently.

A: The pour is a moderate amber color with a massive off-white head and some sticky lacing.

S: The amount of alcohol in the nose is rather disappointing. The booze is not necessarily bourbony like you might expect from other bourbon barrel aged beers, but very ethanol like. It really dominates the aromas and prevents the usual quad character from coming through.

T: Luckily the flavor is an improvement over the aromas. A strong dark candi sugar flavor along with dark fruits such as figs, plums, and perhaps raisins. A mild oak (vanilla) and still an alcohol presence, along with a touch of chocolate and caramel.

M: Medium to full bodied with a very plentiful and creamy carbonation and a bit of heat.

D: Not my favorite beer from Boulevard, but some good flavors. I am curious to see how the other bottle I have matures, as I think there is a good beer here, just not exactly what I like in this case.

womencantsail, Apr 20, 2010
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

ygtbsm94, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -5.7%

spycow, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

kylehay2004, Oct 27, 2013
Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev -5.7%

jaydoc, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an opaque, dark mahogany body with a fizzy, beige-colored head.

Smell: Decidedly sweet-smelling aroma simply coated in candi sugar scents as well as notes of toasted malts, San Pedro figs, Medjool dates (you eat'm!), golden raisins, and, only slightly, barrel-derived wood and brown sugar.

Taste: Toasted and caramel malts slathered and slathered again in dark syrup. Rich dark fruitiness throughout. Somewhat subdued barrel character, but you still get hints of brown sugar and oak. Very nominal spicy hop component and imparted bitterness. Slight peppery alcohol and belly-pleasing warmth emerges on the tail end. The finish is dry, vaguely spicy, and fruity.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-high carbonation. Fair amount of stickiness to the mouthfeel, though the carbonation tries to keep things relatively light.

Drinkability: Pretty good! What, did you think BBQ was a rookie brew? Sure, you can find better quads and better barrel-aged beers, but this one still manages to hold its own.

ChainGangGuy, Apr 09, 2009
Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Knapp85, Jan 06, 2014
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -23.3%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Dirty John's tulip pint glass.

Been a long time since I was able to enjoy a bottle of this stuff. It pours a murky brown topped by a bit more than a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises light rye bread, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, brown sugar, and a tough of mild cherry way in the background. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some oak. The bread is stronger now, and the cherries come through as a sort of vague tart cherry-ness pervading the general backdrop of the proceedings. (Yeah, that makes nothing but sense, right?) The body is a strong medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a lightly grainy feel. Overall, a rather enjoyable brew, one that thankfully doesn't overdo it on either barrel or cherry aspects. Good times.

TMoney2591, Dec 19, 2011
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Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ) from Boulevard Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,465 ratings.