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: 5.73%
Wants: 514
Gots: 785 | FT: 79
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 Codyvanvactor
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
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. (207 characters)

Photo of JasW
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
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. (357 characters)

Photo of Brutaltruth
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Cheers! (620 characters)

Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
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. (866 characters)

Photo of john0721
3.96/5  rDev -5.5%
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. (226 characters)

Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (1,713 characters)

Photo of PacNWDad
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
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. (165 characters)

Photo of lilsmizzul1225
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
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. (334 characters)

Photo of SteveB24
3.66/5  rDev -12.6%
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. (730 characters)

Photo of Celtics17
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
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. (246 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.9/5  rDev +16.9%
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! (1,097 characters)

Photo of BB1313
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
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. (1,399 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev -1%
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 (961 characters)

Photo of Thankin_Hank
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
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. (171 characters)

Photo of iTunesUpdates
4.91/5  rDev +17.2%
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. (258 characters)

Photo of gatornation
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-pours a rusty brown color slightly hazed with a healthy off white head
S-cheery with some white fruits bourbon wood and vanilla toffee and caramel
T-wood leather and bourbon with a vanilla cherry pear and fruit toffe and heath bar chocolate whisp in the finish
M- above average carbonation sweet and thick texture on the palate
O-BBQ i buy 2 every year i drink one and age 1 (378 characters)

Photo of TruePerception
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Boulevard's Bourbon Barrel Quad (2014), aged with cherries. 11.8% ABV.

A pretty forceful pop.

A: Over two fingers worth of slight fluffy head. Nice deep orange/brown color. Hazy yellow in the dimple. Slight sheeting. Lacing takes a little while before it starts to form, and is barely there when it does. Strike that. As it warms, lacing seems to hold more. Head dissipates to a thing ring.

S: A funky black cherry aroma sits at the forefront. Perfume-y and oaky Bourbon aroma just behind that. Notes of earth and hay. Deep caramelized tree sap. Very slight earthy hop, though it smells like it's going to be mostly aromatic.

T/MF: Starts with a starts with an earthy molasses flavor, which strengthens as you smile, and then becomes a more sweet molasses, before settling into that black cherry and Bourbon for the nose. A touch of acidity towards the back of the tongue, as it finishes.

It actually has me thinking of Bourbon cocktails. Perhaps similar to a good Manhattan...

Poured from a 750mL bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass. (1,039 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by Aug 2016, opened Jan 2015

A - Maple syrup body with 2 fingers of bone-white head. Nice retention and lace.

S - Ouh, really nice nose. Cherry coke, caramel, oak, vanilla, rum, cocoa nibs, and cherry cordials.

T - Interesting. Dynamic profile. Huge oak note ebbs and weaves throughout the drink. Cherry cordial, pseudo-medicinal booze, caramel, vanilla-bourbon milkshake, almonds, and milk chocolate.

M - Medium frame for the style. Relatively smooth.

O - Really nice. The cherries are great and the barrel character adds some really nice vanilla and nutty bourbon notes, but there's a little too much oak. (624 characters)

Photo of PostRockandCats
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 Vintage. Poured from a bomber to a snifter.

L: Pours a dark, ruddy brown with a course, pale head.

S: Wood, vanilla and bourbon right off with some caramelly malts at the end. Very boozy smelling, but not in a bad way.

T: Definite bourbon forward with some cherry vanilla. Some caramel malts. Boozy hit at the back. Bit of brown bread and dried fruit. Reminds me of a good Xmas pudding. Very nice.

M: Silky and velvety medium body.

O: This is what other bourbon barrel aged beers want to be when they grow up. (520 characters)

Photo of rorjets
4.91/5  rDev +17.2%
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! (1,035 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 brewskifan55
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
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. (638 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 MLDucky
3.41/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I enjoyed the look of this beer. Hazy, deep amber color, slight smell of cherries and faint barrel. Something didn't come together in the taste for me that could match the wonderful aromas I was detecting. (207 characters)

Photo of NickTheGreat
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L (4.5): Nice color. Nice amount of head.
S (4): Smells okay. I got this little bit of a weird smell, but I could smell the bourbon too.
T (4):I'm a little confused here. My first few ounces of it were disappointing. Kinda that metallicy, unpleasant taste you get sometimes. I have a homebrew like this, but not sure the cause. But then . . . it either warmed up, or breathed enough, but it was fantastic. The smoke, the bourbon, the sweetness, the malt, heaven. Not sure exactly what happened, but it did. I'm really giving it a 3 and a 5 for taste!
F (4.5): Nice mouthfeel. Good carb, not especially heavy or viscous.

Overall (4.25). So I'm not sure what happened with the weird taste at first. I don't think it was 100% operator error, because it had actually sat out in the glass for 10 minutes before I drank it the first time. But towards the end . . . WOW (879 characters)

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