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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.

1,832 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,832
Reviews: 557
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 477
Gots: 728 | FT: 69
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
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,832 | Reviews: 557 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ncaudle
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of aslamm75
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of fishkab
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of Bubbalito
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of BrewClint
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of Jacobi
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of thegodfather2701
4.71/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A-poured into a snifter-its a light brown/chestnut color with a thick off-white head that slowly dissipates. I was disappointed in the fact that there was no lacing or cascading that is typical from Belgian versions of the style.

S-Bourbon, Belgian yeast, alcohol, coconut, hint of cherry

T-Bourbon, alcohol, coconut, oak, with a tart cherry finish. This is one of the more complex beers I've had as there are layers of complexity. The bourbon and alcohol stand out but they do not overpower the beer. However, the bourbon and alcohol make this a sipper.

M-Not too thick, but definitely not thin either-it has a nice touch of carbonation

D-True sipper due to the complexity, bourbon, and alcohol (both flavor and abv.)

Overall, this is incredibly complex and delicious. It lived up to my expectations, which is a rare feat. I hope to drink this again.

Photo of mportnoy
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of dazedandconfused
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of MacQ32
4.44/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours an amber brown with a rich caramel dense finger of head. Superior lacing and retention.

S - Brown sugar, molasses, dark fruits, cherries, vanilla okay bourbon aromas.

T - Lots of sweet darker sugars/molasses followed by a real wallop of cherries, okay bourbon finish and aftertaste cherries are the primary flavor here for sure.

M - medium bodied plus, great carbonation for the style, fairly smooth. Not quite a sipper

Photo of Beeranator
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of ksimons
4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-a hazy amber with two fingers worth of creamy dense head

S-caramel malt backbone, rum soaked dark fruits, vanilla, Belgian yeast

T-taste is very nice. Big caramel malt presence, dark fruit sweetness, and a light amount of alcohol warming. Very light for 11.8%.

M-very smooth for such a high ABV beer, full body, medium carbonation

Overall a very enjoyable, well made beer. Would happily have again.

Photo of HALB
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of kojevergas
3.44/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ah, my favourite style done by a brewery I'm really coming to respect. I can't remember ever having a bourbon barrel aged quad; I'm really excited. 2013 vintage 750ml brown glass bottle with classy understated label and branded red hood-and-wire cap over a branded cork acquired at me local bottle shop and served into an Avery stem-tulip (no goblet is available) in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are sky high. 11.8% ABV confirmed. Batch Number: BB13240-1. Best by: 08-2015.

Served cold - straight from me fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a 2.5 finger wide head of light khaki colour. Nice thickness and creaminess. Even consistency. Decent complexion. Head retention is very good for the high ABV - about 6-7 minutes. Uneven lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Yeasty sediment sticks to the sides of the glass and is plainly visible floating in the beer.

Body colour is a glowing auburn-red. Semitranslucent but nontransparent. It's a bit light for the style, but I like the appearance overall. Far from the best I've seen in the style, but respectable. I'm excited to try it.

Not unique or special.

Sm: Dark cherry is certainly prominent. Hints of fig and date. Also some unexpected alcohol presence/warmth. Biscuity Belgian yeast. Has some malty sweetness from the Belgian dark and amber malts used. A bit bready, with abundant toffee. Vanilla from the bourbon. The oak wood lends it some spice, but no real toasty character.

Overall, I'm not sure the bourbon/barrel notes are really bringing out the best in the base beer. The bourbon overwhelms the base a bit, hiding the dark fruit and delicate balance I love in a great quad.

In any case, there's plenty of layers and complexity here, but it comes on a bit strong. The blunt aggression of the bourbon runs counter to the fragile build of the quad underneath. I'm optimistic but concerned. It does seem a bit too sweet.

No hop character is detectable.

The cherry is a highlight.

T/Mf: It's slightly too sweet, primarily due to the vanilla sweetness from the bourbon. The bourbon character taken on its own is actually pretty nice; the vanilla bean has depth and doesn't feel artificial, and the oak while quite restrained has a bit of spiciness to it. I would like a bit more of a toasty note though.

That said, I'm not convinced the barrel notes are really coaxing out the best the base has to offer. The dark fruit notes (fig, dates, maybe plum) are concealed by the dominating bourbon, but the cherry does work well here. There's also a faint hint of orchard apple.

The malty base is interesting, with complex layers of caramel and toffee lending it plenty of body. Belgian amber and dark malts also make an appearance and seem well-selected. Fairly bready.

There's a bit of biscuity Belgian yeast character which unfortunately gets drowned out by the bourbon.

No hop character is noticeable. Hides its ABV pretty well, but not as well as the best Trappist quads.

Overall, the flavour profile is pretty well balanced, definitely cohesive, and has plenty of complexity and subtlety, but just isn't as delicately put together or gestalt at the best beers in the style. The best Trappist quads have a fragile intricacy - a nuance - that this beer just lacks. I do think the cherry is lovely, and the bourbon adds some interesting elements, but at the end of the day I'm not sure quadrupel is the best style for bourbon barrel aging.

Good depth of flavour. Above average duration and intensity of flavour.

A bit too full-bodied. Thick, heavy, and big. Well-carbonated. Has a huge presence on the palate, but it calls too much attention to itself and isn't as understated as something like Westvleteren 12. It doesn't have the delicacy, the fragility, or the elegance of the best quads. Smooth and wet, with adequate coarseness to coax out a bit of extra depth.

Not oily, astringent, harsh, gushed, or hot.

Dr: It's a sipper, but still quite drinkable for its high ABV. I like the experimentation, and the beer has some really effective elements (e.g. the cherry), but it doesn't hold a candle to the best Trappist quads. I might pick this up again to age it, but it doesn't have quite what I love in a quad - namely intricate dark fruit, perfect balance, and a delicate texture. Boulevard's delivered a solid beer, but I don't know that I'd recommend this to friends. I can't make up my mind about whether or not the barrel aging here is effective, which probably means it isn't. Going the Three Philosophers route and blending this with a sour might be a good option.

Pairs fantastically with cheddar.

The bourbon and cherry notes - the most interesting aspects of this beer - open up as the beer warms. I'd recommend serving this chilled.

High B-

Photo of spoony
3.87/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From a 750 ml (Batch # BN132131-1, bottled August 25, 2013) into a chalice.

A-The brew starts with about a finger of light-tan head. The head drops quickly to a thick cap, which remains for a bit. The beer is light in color for the style...amber, maybe dark amber, with a fair bit of clarity in the light.

S-The smell is quite boozy and hot. There are some brandy-like scents, as well as caramel, prune, raisin, and a slightly tart white grape aroma. The smell is, like the appearance, lighter for the style, with big doses of boozy warmth.

T-The taste is also on the boozy side. I get flavors of caramel, golden raisin, white grape, and a vague fruity alcohol. There is also a bit of oak in there to dry things out. In fact, this is quite dry for a quad. The finish is almost tannic and drying.

M-The feel is lighter to medium for the style with moderate carbonation.

O-I had very high hopes for this beer, but am somewhat disappointed. The overwhelming dose of brandy-flavored booze is tough to ignore and the beer seems to lack a lot of the things that I enjoy about quads, i.e., dark fruit, leather, tobacco, and sweetness. Criticisms aside, there is some complexity here and I will be curious to see if this thing mellows a bit over time.

Photo of Buttermilk
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of ajzy
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of cjohal85
5/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of BigOldOaf
3.5/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of Jakethesnake503
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of osuskin
3.25/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of Duane_Opfer
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

1 pt 9.4 fl oz bottled poured into a stemmed goblet. Best by date of AUG15. Consumed on 11/21/13. Written from notes.

A - Caramel color with two fingers of heavy large bubble off-white head. Cloudy with no sediment. High carbonation.

S - Very fragrant. Gorgonzola, dark fruit, brown sugar, molasses, and bourbon.

T - Sour cherry. Bourbon barrel aged very evident. Cherry and bourbon clashed somewhat.

M - High carbonation... too high.

O - All over the place... clashing flavors and over carbonated. Not recommended.

Photo of kristougher
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of Braden
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of strongaf
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ) from Boulevard Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,832 ratings.