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Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ) - Boulevard Brewing Co.

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

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1,612 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,612
Reviews: 520
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 459
Gots: 599 | FT: 56
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
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Ratings: 1,612 | Reviews: 520 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ithinkimasofa
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

ithinkimasofa, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of thebouch01
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

thebouch01, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of kkrez
5/5  rDev +17.9%

kkrez, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -5.7%

djrn2, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of seth72104
5/5  rDev +17.9%

seth72104, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of kungpao
5/5  rDev +17.9%

kungpao, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of mattkooler
4/5  rDev -5.7%

mattkooler, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of tchaos
5/5  rDev +17.9%

tchaos, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Travisnin
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Travisnin, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of LucienDeRubempre
5/5  rDev +17.9%

LucienDeRubempre, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Ynot2
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours A redish hue with minimal head that hangs around.

Smell is cherries and bourbon and some sweet malt at the end.

Taste is sugary sweet cherries, a slight tartness mixed with sugars. Nicely balanced flavors from the first sip through the end of the taste. Very light borboun flavors really add to the flavors.

Mouthfeel is decent with middle of the road carbonation.

Overall a good beer and very drinkable for the alcohol content. Glad I have a couple more in the cellar.

Ynot2, Nov 10, 2011
Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.43/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: The beer pours a light brown with a red hue. Has a 1/4 inch off white head that sticks around for awhile and leaves behind some nice lacing

Smell: Upfront is lots of cherries followed up by some bourbon oak and a slight funk

Taste: For me the tart cherries over power the beer. Lots and lots of cherry backed up by some bourbon oak and bready yeast

Mouthfeel: Medium body and ample carbonation

Overall: I had high hopes for this beer but this one just did not agree with my palate.

DarthKostrizer, Nov 08, 2011
Photo of MasterSki
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chris (spycow) for sharing this one? Best before 11/2012, Batch 2010-02. Served in a Struise cervoise.

A - A big light tan foam settles to a thick cap, leaving plenty of lacing. Hazy brown-red body.

S - Bourbon! Just tons of bourbon and oak, along with some candi sugar, more oak, and some typical quad flavors like dark fruits and toffee. Not much in the way of cherries - I suppose they faded after a year in the cellar?

T - Cherries show up a tad more in the flavor, and mingle with big oak, vanilla, and barrel flavors, mild bourbon, and some nebulous malty sweetness imparted by the base beer.

M - Medium-bodied and a bit undersized for the ABV. Carbonation is lower but has sufficient tingle to keep things from getting syrupy. Dry and oaky finish, and not much alcohol present at this point in time.

D - A very nice offering from Boulevard. I'll have to crack my own Batch 2008-01 bottle to see how the additional age has impacted this beer. I can certainly recommend a (semi-)fresh bottle!

MasterSki, Nov 08, 2011
Photo of thagr81us
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to aasher for this one as I have been wanting to try it for QUITE some time! 2010 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a hazy red-orange with a minimal light tan head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, wood, cherry, caramel, and toffee. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, wood, subtle tart, fruit, slight metallic, toffee, and cherry. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. THere were a lot of complexities that I would not have expected from this brew going on. This made it quite enjoyable and kept me guessing on each sip which I like. The alcohol on this one was definitely covered up quite well. Definitely worth trying if you have not done so already.

thagr81us, Oct 28, 2011
Photo of CuriousMonk
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared at a local tasting event. Poured into snifter glass. Pours a murky reddish-brown color with a good thick tan head that fades somewhat quickly to a thin frothy layer. There’s lots of bourbon and wood in the aroma along with the cherries. Belgian yeast and candi sugar join the scent as well but are not as noticeable as expected. The flavor adds vanilla, dried mixed fruit, toffee, and light spice, that go along with the cherries and bourbon, which still stand out here. The wood shows mostly in the finish with a lot of wet barrel notes surfacing. The more traditional Quad flavors are diluted; Belgian yeast, dark fruit, candi sugar, they are here, but rather than being at the forefront they are burried beneath the strong bourbon and cherry. This shows every bit of 11.8% with a rather sharp alcoholic tang that just seems to keep getting stronger the more I drink this. Medium mouthfeel and decent carbonation throughout. Overall a great sipping Quad!

CuriousMonk, Oct 25, 2011
Photo of heysuz
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Intro: 750ml bottle shared with a friend in a tulip glass

Appearance: Full pillowy head that recedes slowly with lacy that hangs. The color is a dark cream soda or a light cider color and very cloudy.

Smell: Strong aroma of citrus and alcohol, mostly the citrus, lacking any spice or complexity.

Taste: Very strong citrus notes and tart, no real complexity or depth like in many other quads.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is sharp, clean and slightly dry with little to no aftertaste

Overall: The citrus was good in respect to mouthfeel but completely overwhelmed the taste and aroma not nearly as complex as other quads, kind of hard to get past the tartness. It has a tart almost bitter aspect and not the same creamy quality found in other quads like Rochforte 10 or St. Benardus 12.

heysuz, Oct 20, 2011
Photo of mdvatab
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Cheers to cosmonick for sharing his bottle during a local Indy get-together!)
Poured from bottle (dated 2010-1) into snifter.

Aroma: An unmistakable bourbon note off the top, followed by a sweet, carmelized malt aroma. Also present are vanilla, toasted bread, and a bit of spicy yeast.

Appearance: A carmel-tan hazy body with a tinge of orange. One finger eggshell-colored head dissipates slowly, forming light lacing on the inside of the glass.

Flavor: A rich, carmelly quad is immediately accompanied by a relatively peppery vanilla and caramel bourbon flavor. Hops and alcohol subsequently combine to provide a prominent bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body with medium-low carbonation. Alcohol lends itself to a peppery warmth through a long finish.

Overall: The flavors all played in great harmony, but I couldn't help but wonder how much better BBQ might taste if given a few years to mellow. If I have the chance to obtain a bottle, I will definitely lay it down for 3-5 years. Please give it a try if you have the opportunity.

mdvatab, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of jnn4v
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 bottling, consumed in 2011.

A: Chestnut / walnut color. Ample amount of light tan / dark cream-colored head. Mild amount of sediment.

S: First, second and third smell are all directly reminiscent of an oud bruin or possibly a Flanders Red. But I didn't get any hint of Quadrupel until about 5 minutes after it was poured when the malt finally broke through. Some tart citrus or unripened cherry as well. No hints of bourbon.

T: Almost the inverse of the scent. Nice and malty, sweet caramel, dark dried fruits (specifically fig, raisin, prune and date), toasted oak, hints of champagne, dried cherry/cranberry, sour oak (more like the oud bruin), aspirin sour/bitterness, hints of smoke, cheap bourbon (eg. Jim Beam white).

M: Good mouthfeel - medium to thick density. Moderate to high level of carbonation with relatively small bubbles. Nice for a quad, but not exceptional.

O: Good beer. One of the most complex flavor profiles I've ever encountered, ranging from sour to bitter to sweet all in each sip, and also evolving as it warmed.

jnn4v, Oct 02, 2011
Photo of Pahn
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml bottle into Duvel tulip. "Batch number / Best by date: 2010-1, 11/2012" printed on the label.

Thanks to generous BA codewarrior for trading 2 bottles of this to me and morningthief, and thanks to morningthief for picking them up!

Appearance: Moderate pour yields a 2.5 inch fizzy and rocky offwhite head that dissipates slowly leaving a couple lacing streaks. Pours a beautiful semi-translucent ruby and leaves a few streaks and spots of lacing.

Smell: At first, 1 part sour cherry, 1 part bourbon soaked oak. While simple, these are two of the greatest aromas that can find their way into one's nose, so no complaints here.

With time, the smell expands with some malty depth and boozy heat. The sour cherry retreats to the background, while the vanilla and toffee oak and bourbon aromas are deepened by the cutting alcohol. Enticing, and a really nice complement to the flavor.

Taste: First sip brings tons of oak, highlighted by cherry with some toasted and sugary malt in the finish (a bit reminiscent of a graham cracker dipped in chocolate). There's a touch of overoaked astringency through the finish that combines with the high acidity and carbonation to be somewhat abrasive, but it's couched inside such heavenly flavor that it barely distracts.

In further sips, the astringency quickly fades, while a strong fig-like ester profile, some Belgian yeast influence, and notes of dark candi sugar emerge as a permanent fixture at the beginning of each taste. Vanilla oak, toffee, and a touch of bourbon stay strong throughout, while the cherry flavors are sometimes highlights, sometimes prominent. Acidity remains high, but the oaky creaminess and reasonably deep malt flavors balance it beautifully. While there's detectable alcohol heat, it's not solvent-like and is well hidden for 11.8% ABV. Finish is consistently hot, oaky, and chocolaty.

My only complaints are that the depth of malt flavor could be fuller for a BSDA/quad, and that the American wild ale-approaching acidity occasionally clashes with the other smooth, decadent flavors. That said, this beer is a real treat for lovers of sour cherry, bourbon barrel aged beer, and dubbels/quads.

Mouthfeel: Light side of medium bodied, but creamy. High acidity that makes the beer seem more bitter than the purported 19 IBUs. Long hot and flavorful finish. Slightly dry.

Mouthfeel is the worst aspect of this beer, and the mouthfeel isn't half bad.

Overall: This beer is a simple conceit, executed really well. It's not the greatest quad in the world, but if you're buying something called "Bourbon Barrel Quad" you probably want a passable quad with as much beautiful flavor extracted from bourbon barrels as possible. Throw in some sour cherries, and that's exactly what this beer is.

Pahn, Sep 24, 2011
Photo of Retsinis
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes

Tasted at a bottle share at instant replay. 2009 bottle. We let this warm a bit before we popped it.

A: Corked and caged bottle, and poured from the 750 ml into a small snifter glass. The beer pours a cloudy dull amber, with a slightly copper hue. A fluffy & frothy cappucino head rose to about an inch in a half, then settled to about a hald inch of film that stuck around. light lacing.

S: Initially I pick up light dark cherries, oak, and a light bourbon, or buttery vanilla aroma, mixed with some candy sugar and yeast esters.

T: Slight tart cherries, blended with bourbon, candy sugar, & Belgian yeast, but very well balanced, and not overly sweet.

M: Medium to high carbonation, semi sticky, with a medium body.

O: Good quad, nice balance, and is quite enjoyable. Have had it multiple times now at tastings, but always look forward to it & enjoy it.

Retsinis, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of Wadsey
2.93/5  rDev -30.9%
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. 

Wadsey, Aug 30, 2011
Photo of JAXSON
2.15/5  rDev -49.3%
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.

JAXSON, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of ShanePB
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml corked and caged bottle from the Smokestack Series. Aged in bourbon barrels with cherries, sounds interesting and quite unlike any Quad I've had before. Poured into two tulip glasses.

A: Hazy golden rustic copper colored body with an off-white bubbly head. A thin retention cap with hundreds of miniature bubbles eventually settles out, and leaves minor lacing around the walls.

S: Sour cherry, wood, bourbon and dark rum lead the aromas with very boozy and oddly fruity notes - I like it. The malts come through slightly with a sweet caramel nature, and there are simply no notions of hops anywhere.

T: A rush of slightly tart and sour cherry flavor comes first, which is somewhat odd for a beer of this style. It's nothing bad I just definitely was not expecting that much flavor from the cherries. Oak and melon are mid-palate while hints of bourbon are on the back palate with some noticeable heat going down.

M: Highly active carbonation, bubbly though still a rich, medium-bodied beer. It's crisp and clean in the finish which seems a bit different for a Quad but it's really nice nonetheless.

The addition of the bourbon barrels and cherries certainly took the style and turned it on its head. A much different layer of flavor and complexity was added without being too over the top. Certainly my favorite Boulevard beer I've had (although it's not been many).

ShanePB, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of meatyard
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky, brown/orange with a shortish tan/yellow head that moves down to a cover quickly.

The smell is a bit of yeast, a hint of alcohol and cherries.

The taste is similar to the aroma with a bit of a bite on the tongue. the bourbon is still there but is starting to meld with the other flavors of yeast, slight alcohol, candied sugar and malt. The flavor is very even and is a very good, well-made beer.

Mouthfeel is warming in the mouth but on the thinner side even though that is to be expected.

Overall: Big and highly drinkable, it's a comfortable and pleasant beer. Highly recommended.

meatyard, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of claspada
3.28/5  rDev -22.6%
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...

claspada, Aug 20, 2011
Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ) from Boulevard Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,612 ratings.