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Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ) - Boulevard Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

580 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 580
Hads: 2,014
Avg: 4.21
pDev: 20.43%
Wants: 531
Gots: 800 | FT: 73
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ) Alström Bros
Reviews: 580 | Hads: 2,014
Photo of barczar
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Big bourbony aroma, with lots of vanilla and caramel. Belgian yeast is subtle.

Flavor is more estery, with notes of pear and apple. Perfumey notes abound. Not as much bourbon in flavor, but the alcohol heat is there, big-time. Cherries are a nice complement. Needs age to mellow the heat.

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Photo of DeepBrew
4.57/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 ml bomber into snifter. 2014 edition

A: Somewhat hazy mahogany with high beige foam and long retention. Lacing is spotty, coating the side of the glass when tilted.

S: Barrel, malt and booze.

T: Caramel sweet, dark fruit, spice, barrel and booze. Vanilla and cherry are quite subdued. The caramel, fruit and spice linger in the aftertaste.

M: Strong body, creamy, good carbonation

O: Excellent ramped up quad

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: deep amber ruby brown body, opaque; three+ fingers of tan foam left some lace scattered down the glass

S: fleshy dark fruits like dates, plums, raisins and cherries, soaked in bourbon and dried on wood

T: the deep fruit currents run throughout a caramel, toffee, and bourbon-infused base; suggestions of vanilla and holiday spice with hints of cherry

M: medium-bodied, soft and fuzzy, mild carbonation, slight tingle of tartness on the side

O: a well-crafted quad, similar is some ways to Three Philosophers, but superior, in part due to the bourbon barrel aging, in part due to what may be a better quad in the first place. Good sippin' ale, absolutely recommended.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle batch B14204, best by 02/07/2016:
I will re-review this with a vertical at some point, but this review is based on the 2014 version.

This beer appears exactly how I expect a Quad to look, right or wrong. Chestnut in color, seemingly hazy to even cloudy, with a a preponderance of light tan/off-white head.

The nose is brown sugar and bourbon. I don't get much from the cherry, but do get some of the barrel wood. I also get the hints of fig and date.

The sugar and bourbon do not come through as strong in the taste. However, a bit of tartness from the barrel and definitely some dark cherry flavors come through up front. The longer taste is more mellow, with some dark fruits (fig), some dark brown sugar, and more barrel. The feel is pretty smooth, with a decent body. Carbonation is pretty good throughout. Light dryness in the end, seemingly from the wood.

I sort of expected more bourbon bite, but I think it plays into the fruit notes well that it is hiding a bit. Regardless, a very nice offering, will be interested in doing that vertical at some point.

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Photo of uvachief
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750ml bottle during a bottle share. Pours a thin golden rust brown. Not what I was expecting. Thin head that dissipated. Tastes much like a tradition quadrupel but you pick up the oak bourbon barrels. The bourbon is subtle and smooth. Dark fruit, cherries I think, are noticeable on the front and back end. Toffee, vanilla are noted also. Interesting and good but not fantastic. Disappointed a little. Too hyped I guess.

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Photo of spacebear09
3.9/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance- This is a highly carbonated, amber colored quad. Fantastic lacing from the foamy tan head.

Smell- Big boozy aroma. Lost some points for a hint of something reminiscent of paint thinner.

Taste- Very much like Sixth Glass with toned down sweetness and some cherry funk added in the finish. Strong caramel and spice flavors, but the bourbon is almost nonexistent. It's a fairly good sipping beer, just not my bag.

Feel- Highly carbonated. Very crisp and light bodied for a quad.

Overall- Quad fiends would probably like this beer. I found it fairly enjoyable, but would not purchase it again.

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Photo of Mattygross44
4.82/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is smooth pours dark and creamy not overly carbonated has a nice little after burn for all you barrel drinkers. Still liked the widmer brrrbon 13 had a little more of a bite but then again thats coming from a whiskey drinker who just switched over to beers in the last 3 weeks. I def recommend this beer its done up really well.

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Photo of Dionysus777
4.99/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I thoroughly enjoyed this offering and it is extremely well balanced. It was released into the wild in 2014 and I just picked it up today at the local Bevmo! As far as the ABV is concerned, it's hardly noticeable, especially if drunk with a small meal or snack. If you haven't tried this yet and you're into barrel-aged anything, you should definitely give this beer a shot.

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Photo of Way2drunk
3.7/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

This is my 2nd time enjoy n this quad. I hand a few other beers and 4got 2 review last time. Upon 2nd try I found this overly carbonated. So I let it settle. Then I could taste the tart cherries. It's good but not outstanding. I like some of the other Boulevard Smokestack series better

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Photo of 10Crumra
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is for the 2014 release. Pours a dark amberish brown. A nice two finger yellowish-tan head that sticks around for a while. A small head stays through the entire drinking experience. Significant lacing.

Strong aroma of cherries and alcohol. Subtle roasty, oaky smells.

Definitely taste those cherries along with the alcohol (11.8% ABV). Some nice toffee and caramel flavors. Pleasant mouthfeel. Even though the alcohol is present in the taste it doesn’t burn. Nice carbonation and creaminess.

Overall this is a nice, complex barrel aged quad. It packs a punch for sure. I look forward to trying next year’s version when it comes out.

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Photo of Codyvanvactor
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

For a quad, this is a little light. I love the 6th glass. I had high hopes for the BBQ, but was disappointed at the lack of flavor coming from the bourbon barrel. Happy to drink it again if you're buying.

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Photo of JasW
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a one finger tan head over a copper colored body into a St. Bernardus goblet from the corked and caged bottle. Immediate whiff of sweet bourbon. Taste is immediately of that bourbon and the cherries, settling into the familiar character of a top flight but not too sweet quad. Spectacular, cheek-puffing mouthfeel. An absolute must for all quad fans.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage

Enjoyed from the big bottle, this most interesting quad pours a brownish amber with a firm awesome off white head that never fully disappears while leaving excellent lacing. Nose of tart pie cherries, oak, bourbon heat, vanilla, and brown sugar. Taste is warm and bourbon fueled with cherries and oak flavors marrying well together with some light vanilla to the back and sides and sweet caramel and brown sugar all around. Mouth feel finishes lightly dry while being slightly slick with a woody, bourbon fueled cherry aftertaste that is lightly bitter. Very unique.

NOT your average quad.


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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 Bottle in my cellar for almost 18 months.

A - Dirty brown-red, hazy opaque, with a very light head, and massive lacing.

S - Full of alcohol burn and bourbon and barrel. Hints of fruit and buttery toffee.

T - Incredible range of flavors. The front is full of bourbon and wood, but underneath are strong cherry and toffee note, and the close comes forward with more earthiness and a slightly buttery note.

M - Very slick, full, slightly cloying. A sipper, this one does not do well with quick drinking, but if you take your time the feel is not off-putting. For nearly 12%, the alcohol sits well, and only burns slightly in the front.

O - Reminds me of a number of barleywines I've had, but is far more nuanced. This is a beer to sit down with and explore, because there are enough layers here to reward time with discovery. I need to get more of this.

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Photo of john0721
3.96/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml bottle

Brown, off white head.

Cherry with a little bourbon and vanilla in the nose.

Flavor starts with cherries, followed by vanilla, caramel, toffee, and oak, all of which is nicely balanced. Ends with a dry finish.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 pint, 9.4 oz bottle, poured into a wide-mouth snifter at approximately 45 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful red-amber, and forms a massive off-white head with a slight orange tint. Excellent head retention, and it leaves lacing on the glass itself as it recedes, to say nothing of the lacing left by the thick ring it eventually collapses into. Tiny bubbles continually stream from the bottom of the glass, joined sporadically by the occasional larger bubble.

Smell: Delightful. Dark fruits and candi sugar erupt from the glass, heavy with plums, slightly soured grapes, and cherries. There's a faint oaken tinge to the aroma, and vague suggestions of vanilla.

Taste: In an almost exact reversal of the nose, the bourbon barrel strikes first as the beer touches the palate, with heavy notes of vanilla, burnt toffee, char, oak, and boozy heat. Beneath those notes, the candi sugar sweetness takes the center of the rear stage, with the fruit notes off toward the wings and possibly the orchestral pit. The finish brings a slightly sour tone, as cherry and some lingering candi sweetness ride a rush of pure boozy heat. A tiny bit of wooden flavor lingers after the swallow as well.

Mouthfeel: Hot with alcohol, this is also a nigh syrupy beer in consistency, both encouraging sips over swigs.

Overall: This blends the complexity of a good Belgian with the power of a potent bourbon barrel nicely. It drinks a touch hot, but there are few nigh-12% ABV barrel-aged beers that can conceal that - a spot of age might take a bit of the edge off as well. I don't know that I would ever reach for this over a good non-barrel-aged quad, but perhaps trying one with some age on it might change that opinion.

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Photo of PacNWDad
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The smell of this stuff is awesome. Not too sharp, not too malty. I really like that they keep the Belgian character but with BBA. That is pretty hard to pull off.

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Photo of lilsmizzul1225
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this saved for over a year - back from the 2013 release. Although it was a very solid beer, I felt a little let down. Maybe I kept it for too long but I didn't think the cherry notes came through as strong and it seemed a bit strong for me. On the whole it was a good beer but perhaps I should try it fresh(er) than what I had it.

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Photo of SteveB24
3.66/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Look-color is a clear, mocha brown, lots of big bubbles visible in the glass and the beer pours a finger of of white head that leaves nice lacing on the glass.
Smell-burned sugar upfront, quickly followed by tart cherries, and a hint of booze. smells quite like a sour stout.
Taste- mild belgian yeast taste, caramel, some dark fruit is there but the cherries are not very noticeable, lots of booze, and slightly metallic.
Feel-Full bodied, not oily, medium carbonation, finishes on the juicer side.
Overall-i gotta say i was pretty disappointed with this, the taste was very boozy, and it lacked the sweetness and complexity i except from a Belgian Quad, particularly since this is brewery generally does excellent work. oh well.

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Photo of Celtics17
4.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was actually refreshing compared to the past few Barrel aged quads that I've had. This had a slight sour layer because of the cherries,and an excellent vanilla back note as the taste lingered. I love the hints of cherry throughout this beer.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.9/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2013 vintage, 750 ml bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, deep, dark, mahogany color with three fingers of white head that slowly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Strong notes of alcohol, dried dark stone fruit (prunes, raisins, and cherries), oak, toffee, orange peel and vanilla. Very complex! Not much in the way of hops however.

Taste: Awesome! Boozy upfront, followed by that dried dark stone fruit (prunes, raisins, cherries) that I got in the aroma, followed by vanilla, sticky-toffee and some wood. Wow! Finally, there is no hops bitterness to speak of, which I overall prefer.

Mouthfeel: Very chewy and smooth, with practically no carbonation to speak of. With an ABV of 11.8%, there is a significant presence of alcohol on the palate, providing a pleasant warming in the mouth.

Overall: Goddamn, this is a terrific beer! I love the stone fruit flavors and the nicely balanced, but pronounced alcohol warmth. I’m getting several bottles of this beer, as it’s now a keeper in my cellar!

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Photo of BB1313
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 vintage. 750ml bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a deep glowing amber with a subtle haze and has bubbles swimming to the top; creamy beige head that sticks around and leaves great retention and sticky lacing. Looks great. The aromas are full of cherries and dark fruits. Vanilla frosting is there too. The bourbon is sweet and blends in with everything. The malts and yeast also gives it a nice sweetness. The bourbon isn't overwhelming in the aromas or the flavors, it's just there. Tastes very good, but can become redundant or one note. That's not even a knock, because that "one note" is enjoyable. It also becomes more complex the more you get into it. Lots of cherries, plum, and raisins. Some caramel and banana in the mix as well. The bourbon blends in with everything else and doesn't diminish the flavors at all. There's a subtle warmth in the finish, but it's not hot or boozy at all. It felt hot with the first sip or two, but everything comes together shortly after. Mouthfeel is awesome. It's full-bodied and extremely creamy. Very fluffy with light but active carbonation. Very smooth. Dangerously drinkable. Makes a great sipper.

This beer has been on my radar for YEARS. Boulevard just entered Ohio, so this is my first offering from them. I can say I'm pretty impressed. The craftsmanship is off the charts. This brew is simply well executed. Well done. Highly recommended.

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Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down and consistently left a short head covering the surface and thick lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of cherries and bourbon are present in the nose. The bourbon seems to become stronger as the beer warms up.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste starts out with flavors of bourbon from the barrel aging and then has some notes of cherries towards the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There is some warming from the alcohol.
O: I liked how cherries were added to this beer because they made it still taste like a quad and not like a bourbon-infused American Strong Ale. This beer is very drinkable considering its strength and tastes nothing like something that is 11% abv.

Note: 2014 vintage

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Thankin_Hank
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Will seek this out again. I am fortunate that a long time local has amassed such a selection in a small store with limited parking. "If you don't find it ask" kinda place.

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Photo of iTunesUpdates
4.91/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Man does this add flavor! The vanilla and bourbon flavor in this is just wonderful. Surprised this is still on the shelves around here. Pick up plenty of Quad notes on the back end whereas the aged portion is noted on the front.

Definitely worth a purchase.

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Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ) from Boulevard Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 580 ratings.