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Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ) | Boulevard Brewing Co.

617 Reviews
Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ)Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ)

Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Missouri, United States | website

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.80%

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

Added by jdubjacket on 07-11-2008

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 617 | Ratings: 2,179
Photo of Viaduck
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bourbon Barrel Quad 2015 edition. Careful opening the bottle, just about shot the cork screw out of my hand. Caramel in color whith a light brown head. Smells pretty, like the bottle says, cherries & toffee & vanilla. Very complex flavor: sour, bitter,sweet & salty but all nicely balanced. I get cherries initially then a strong bourbon flavor, hops & finishes with toffee & malt.

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Photo of stratusjeans
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 version, best by: 1/8/16.

I'm not a huge fan of Belgians but I'm trying to branch out. Holy crap this is good.

A: medium amber colored, hazy. 3 fingers khaki foam and not an aggressive pour.

S: vanilla, yeast, subtle bourbon and a little cherry.

T: smooth and balanced. A lot of vanilla, hints of bourbon and sour cherry. Very little alcohol for 11.8 ABV.

M: very easy to drink. Medium mouthfeel. This isn't like a barrel aged stout, it's much more delicate.

O: This is fantastic. A new regular purchase.

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Photo of edisacoolcat
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: tawny amber with reddish hues, clear; head falls quickly

A: sweet and boozy; lots of bourbon, raisin, plum, dark cherry, toasted oak, bread malts; alcohol noticeable

T: sweet bourbon, toasty and bread malts, sweet and sticky with lots of rum-raisin bourbon and oak, some darks cherry; noticeable alcohol

M: somewhat thin but good carbonation level; sticky and sweet aftertaste; strong with alcohol noticeable in the aftertaste

O: good beer with nice bourbon notes, great aroma and nice taste; slightly too boozy and a little sticky but great beer

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Photo of GOBLIN
4.44/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

New Year's eve . . . Sure, I'll pop the cork on this barrel aged beast and see what happens. POP ! This one pours a really nice and inviting deep copper orange almost ruby red in color. It's a very fine looking beer with nice colors that are almost hard to describe. Produces strong head retention at its finest. Aromas are bourbon and cherries and maybe a subtle Belgian yeasty notes on the nose as well. If I was blindfolded I wouldn't know off the bat that this is a quad but sooner or later I would have guessed. Flavors are upfront bourbon but that fades quickly so it's not overbearing like just another bourbon flavored beer. The bourbon barrel aging really plays its roll well by adding to the character of the beer and not trying to steal the show. Following close behind are the cherries. Which again don't dominate but rather continue to strengthen this beer's character. Now for the kicker . . . The smokiness ! I originally thought that "Smokestack" had nothing to do with what I now recognize as another element to this beer. The smoke is subtle like the bourban and gets equal playing time in this game. Boulevard has really pulled this off well and has a special beer on their hands. Finally the mouthfeel is pretty standard for a quad and doesn't thin out due to its time in the barrel. So overall I would have to admit that this may possibly be one of the finest and well made beers I have taken hold of. Furthermore, this is bourban barrel aging at a world class level.

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Photo of DoctorZombies
4.73/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Dark copper, almost brown pour; beige head; excellent clarity; long lasting cap; a little sediment in bottom of glass; thick lacing. Aromas of bourbon and cherries initially; oak, toffee and cherries as liquid warms. First sip reveals soft boozy cherries, a little whiskey and oak; cherry cordial with vanilla creme middle; a little banana and clove from the yeast; finish is like a cherry sucker with a tootsie roll center. Smooth, medium, boozy mouthfeel; moderate carbonation; slight alcohol bite on the tip of the tip of my tongue. Overall, simply outstanding with cherry and boozy linger; not too sweet - just right.

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Photo of 2Cents
4.49/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I thought this would be a nice Christmas eve beer, and I was right. As I poured it into a tulip glass, I could smell the fruity esters and fruitcake notes. It tastes like a classic quad with just a hint of sour cherries and bourbon notes, from the barrel aging. It's a little on the "boozy" side for me, but over all, it was a delightful holiday treat!

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark reddish orange with a thick, light tan head that stayed forever and left a thick lacing behind. The smell is caramel sweetness with a strong aroma of sweet cherries and vanilla. Bready yeast and the faintest smell of bourbon appear as well. The taste is stunning. Fresh cherries and vanilla play nicely with the caramel and malts and the bourbon puts the finishing touch on each swallow with the perfect amount of heat. Such a great beer.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.51/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours light amber with little head no lacing.
Smell good alcohol smell some vanilla some cherries as it warms the alcohol smell gets stronger.
Taste I was amazed as how smooth this beer is at 11.8% the alcohol is present but not overwhelming little taste of caramel oak and bourbon.
Very smooth taste no aftertaste
Over an awesome beer I would have many more times.

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Photo of riverotterrob
4.49/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: a hazy light brown with a half finger of tan head.

S: nothing too strong but a lot going on. Belgian yeast, vanilla, oak, a hint of toffee.

T: toffee, carmel, oak, with a hint of fruit and a sourness from the cherries. Gets better as it warms, with hints of the boubon coming through on the finish. Finish is nice and long, with more and more new notes coming through

M: medium body, with subtle carbonation and a nice dry finish partially from the oak.

O: an excellent and complex beer.

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Photo of stortore
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle into a chalice, 2014 edition.

Pours a medium amber, very hazy, with a one finger head and lots of foamy cling. Smell is cherries, malt, vanilla, oak, some dates and raisins, some caramel. Taste leads with the malt, still a strong cherry presence, some bourbon- not a lot, caramel, oak, vanilla, figs, dates, hint of maple. Great flavor. Smooth, creamy, very well carbonated, great body.

Love this one, and every year I forget just how good it is. Really strong cherry presence in both the aroma and taste, sets it apart from other quads. The understated bourbon is a perfect compliment. Everyone should try this one. Great price point, too, for what you are getting.

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Photo of GStone899
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Distinct bourbon smell that isn't overpowering. The smell of cherries really compliments the bourbon. Every bourbon beer I've had thus far has been bad (central waters really stands out to me. Some French name that was basically pure bourbon and undrinkable) but this one surprised me. Color is red amber and as the beer settles you see a bit of the cherries (I'm guessing). Mild bourbon taste with a slight undertone of cherries. Vanilla and oak flavor cone thru as well? What does this mean? Smooth finish that doesn't overpower the pallet. 12% alcohol gives this a good kick without tasting like u drank wild turkey straight.

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Photo of Jimlikesbeer
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I like this beer. The bourbon flavor is not overpowering. I like that cause I don't really care for Bourbon (anymore). I don't taste the cherries, but the vanilla comes through as does the oak smokey barrel taste. Very easy to drink.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.04/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Price Paid : FREE (Girlfriend brought it home)

It pops nicely and pours a butterscotch color, 100% opaque and full of fuzziness. The head is large and 3 fingers.

Smells of cherries, peaches, alcohol, fig, and oak. Slight Bourbon aroma.

Taste is full of alcohol warmth and fig, fried bananas, butterscotch, toffee, and antiseptic.

Feel is warm, burning, carbonated, and ends dry.

Overall it's a knock out quad. I'd have it again.

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Photo of beergoot
3.34/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

2015 Version

Dark, copper hued body; thick, sticky, chunky head. Malty nose with some dark fruit qualities; raisins; mild spiciness. Boozy flavor atop a fair malt sweetness; dominant phenol presence; caramel and mildly charred sugar. Heavy body; fairly thick and chewy; warm; strong alcohol heat.

The boozy heat overwhelms an otherwise decent heavy malt base. One is left with feelings of harshness that the under-performing sugary sweetness just can't compensate for. Rather disjointed and lacking in refinement.

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Photo of bobhits
2.9/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

2015 variety.

The pour yield a fizzy, what I normally expect from a sour, head. It seems to last and has some retention and lacing, but in a quad it seems really out of place. Nearly to the point I'm questioning what I'm about to drink.

I really cannot smell much of anything. I get this fruity ester that I have gotten in Boulevard's other smokestack series beers, but with nearly nothing behind it. I think there's some chocolate and bourbon or something like that but I honestly cannot get through the esters.

The beer has a lot of rich flavors and character. Bourbon certainly, chocolate, vanilla, Belgian fruits, rum, grapes, plums. I think there's some good stuff going on, however the mouth feel.

The mouth feel is over the top overly carbonated and thin as heck. It completely ruins the beer.

I'm not sure if I'm just the only guy not a fan or what, but the way the smokestack series is carbonated ruins what I think are otherwise decent beers. I'm sorry but they've either changed up the beer, people had older bottles, or I'm just alone in hating the way this drinks. A real shame because I think the flavors in this one are decent.

Quick edit, but if you swirl the glass for 2-3 minutes and get the carbonation out, it really does improve the beer. As this is likely not how it was intended to be, I won't amend the scores, but it makes a world of difference. The aroma and flavors are much more pronounced and the beer is now much more drinkable. Still a bit thin while being rather boozy so take that as you will.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.74/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

BBQ pours a dark brownish reddish color with a small lacing head. Big bold oak aromas with big hints of tart cherries. Taste is smooth, oakey, spicy, tart cherry flavors, and a warm alcohol ending flavor. Great body, everything blends well. Overall its fanatic, noticeable terry, warm vanilla; everything comes together perfectly.

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Photo of bonesTdog
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beauty in this beer is in its subtlety. It has a wonderful complexity of flavors with none overpowering the others. Nothing jumps out and says BAM. Light bourbon, light vanilla, light yeast, light alcohol (12%!) with a barely noticeable hint of cherry. All with a velvety solid mouthfeel, not too thin. The medium carbonation is a bit high for my preference but still ok. I typically like bigger beers that are more over the top, but this quad impressed me more and more with every sip.

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Photo of snippydippy
4.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Being a Kansas City local, this is probably my favorite of the Smokestack Series that I have tried. I would also rate it higher than other Bourbon blends (i.e. Stone). It mixes nice without the synthetic flavors that I sometimes get with others. Has about two fingers think of topping. Color a nice reddish tent. Overall, I plan on picking up a few more of these before they are out of supply.

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Photo of Best_Enjoyed_In_Texas
3.4/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Overall, pretty let down by this. Very little bourbon taste nor as much quad. The cherry taste is subtle. I was really excited to try this, but kind of let down.

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Photo of LloydDobler
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hearty, ruddy ruby color. The head is light beige and 2" thick, but sizzles to a thin film quickly. The first thing I can smell here is rye and wood. It is abundant. Maybe the addition of cherries is throwing my nose off a bit, but the sweet fruit presence smells almost like a jar of syrupy, cocktail cherries. The mix of that and whiskey has me thinking of a Rob Roy. It makes me want to dive right in! Not as sweet as I was expecting. Actually, it's mild in all aspects. Not what I was anticipating at all. The alcohol finish is nice, smooth, and warming. This pretty much made me feel like I was drinking the last half of a glass of good bourbon that was accidentally served over ice. Pretty thin. This wasn't what I was expecting, nor was it what I wanted, but I DID really enjoy this.

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Photo of stevoj
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Overwhelmed by the complexity and thorough enjoyability of this brew. Barrel aging adds all the right notes, lots of woody and smoky notes, yet still unbelievably silky smooth.. Near perfect quad....no wonder Duvel bought them out

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Photo of BWood
3.26/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Not as much bourbon as I would want nor as much quad. FW stickee monkey blows this away by so far its not on the same planet. Kind of let me down here .

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Photo of infinitebruner
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 Vintage

July 15, 2015

750 ml, snifter

A – Dark, dark amber, with tones of brown, creating a rich, light mahogany liquid, not very clear but not due to sediment. An inch of light, caramel-colored foam, with moderate-long retention. Pours somewhat thick, appears very sudsy. A beautiful beer.

S – Rich caramel, fruity toffee, and strong vanilla, with light oakiness. Fruit is dark, black cherry or plums, and only moderate-light on the aroma. Bourbon is very present, warm but not aggressive. No hop aroma.

T – Vanilla and oak are massive, along with warm, smooth, aged bourbon. Cherry fruit is moderate but very noticeable. Light chocolate and caramel impressions. Again, no hop presence.

M – Full to medium-full in body, with high, very sudsy, carbonation. Some warmth from the bourbon, pleasant. A lot of sweetness but not cloying, mostly due to contribution of bitterness by the hops, their only contribution, which strengthens towards the finish. Pretty dry throughout, with a low bitter aftertaste. Notable that when fresh, this beer can seem aggressively sugary, but with a few months in the bottle it has mellowed out tremendously.

O – This was one of my introductions to strong dark Belgian-style ales, and one of my favorites for a long time, so it keeps a high spot on my list. Excellent, though I wish it retained more of the cherry character from its aging/maturation.

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Photo of CTbrew32
4.51/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Mahogany red in color and very cloudy. Pours a tan three finger tall head.

Aroma- Chocolate, dark fruits, mild cherry, and a touch a bourbon booze.

Taste- Dark fruit sweetness and at first followed by a big burst of cherry flavor. Chocolate is mild but noticeable as well as the bourbon which adds a underlying sweetness/mild booziness. Very well balanced, alcohol presence is low, and barrel characteristics are mild.

Feel- Full bodied, medium/high carbonation, and incredibly smooth and clean in the finish. Very little residual malt in the finish.

Overall- World class quad that gets a a little boost from the bourbon barrel. The barrel adds bourbon sweetness and vanilla flavors, but little to no heat. Quad characteristics contain the typical dark fruit and mild chocolate flavors. Everything about this beer is great from the aroma to the feel. Definitely not a beer that showcases the barrel, but rather uses it to add complimentary flavors to a great base quad.

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4.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

After a fight with the cork I finally got this one open. A fog follows the cork out of the bottle. You get plenty of carbonation with this one as a soft pour gets nearly four fingers of rocky doughy tan head. Body is a deep, murky brownish burgundy in tone. Lots of scattered lace is left behind from the head. Nose is decisively yeasty with some soft tart cherry notes and noticeably raw woodsy oak tone also. With first sip the excitement really hits the tongue. Super complex layers of dry bourbon with rye mash notes are accompanied by soft cherry tones that bring about wine like tannins. Woodsy oak and caramelized malts bring about just the right amount of balance. The Belgium yeast lingers in the back ground leaving the tongue tingling producing a very unique mouthfeel. At nearly 12% the alcohol never comes off as heavy, which is quite a feat. It would be very interesting to see what this one does with some age. A real joy to drink.

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Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ) from Boulevard Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 617 ratings.