Bourbon Barrel Cru | Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

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Bourbon Barrel CruBourbon Barrel Cru
BA SCORE
4.05/5
Exceptional
372 Ratings
Bourbon Barrel CruBourbon Barrel Cru
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Virginia, United States
hardywood.com

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
"Hardywood Bourbon Barrel Cru is brewed in the fashion of the abbey quadrupel, the grand cru of many of Belgium’s revered monastic breweries. Bourbon Cru displays a sunset orange hue with a substantial head and brilliant clarity after months of barrel aging. The maturity and melding of flavors brought on by the freshly drained bourbon barrels lends an extraordinary sense of harmony to Bourbon Barrel Cru. Almond toffee and oaky vanilla aromatics give way to dark cherries, raisins and mature whiskey. A bit of plum flavor is greeted by caramel overtones and an assertive yet incredibly rounded body and a lingering, bourbon-laced finish.
Abbey-style Quadrupel Aged in Bourbon Barrels
12% ABV
18 IBU"

Added by YumYumGumGum on 05-02-2012

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#3,530
Reviews:
68
Ratings:
372
pDev:
10.86%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
51
Gots:
108
Trade:
7
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 372 |  Reviews: 68
Photo of jpkand
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: a nice clear reddish brown. Looks suspiciously for a quad
S: some kind of dark fruit alcohol, almost like rakia. Nice caramel and oak notes
T: with a quad in a bourbon barrel I was expecting heavy alcohol, but it is not overwhelming. The oak and vanilla from the barrel are there. A sweetness comes through later, but it's not cloying. Caramel, a little toffee, maybe funky ripe plums. The alcohol is noticeable at the end but doesn't overwhelm..I think the barrel sofens it nicely
M: not heavy, pretty easy to drink. Dangerously so given the alcohol content. A medium body on this
O: this version of a quad is what makes the American craft beer scene so interesting. If I tasted it blind I wouldn't say it's a quad, and you can that can be good or bad depending on who you ask. In any case this beer is excellent. Perfect as someone said below to share with people and enjoy on special occasions or just when you feel like you have some minor thing to celebrate. Kudos to hardywood! I'll definitely be buying multiple CRUs next year!

 1,038 characters

Photo of CDGoin
4.26/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

MUCH better cold, and DANGEROUS when Cold too..

It already hides its high ABV and booziness within its complex and yet sweet smoothness.

Cold its so drinkable you could swear its a simple belgian.

Drink it room temp or even say a little on the hot side and the bourbon really comes out.. and you can feel the alcohol hit up front.

Either way its a favorite and I look forward to it every year.. buy a few cases to celebrate and for special events.. A great beer to share with others.

 489 characters

Photo of HoodviewBrew
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great raisin and currant smell. Great toffee and caramel taste. combined makes for a sweet flavorful quad.

107 characters

Photo of Howlader
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of zknight
4.11/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of leroybrown10
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of yuno
4.16/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ajm5108
4.46/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich amber brown, no head or carbonation, like scotch. Aroma begins with whispers of plum & dark cherry liqueur before warm bourbon caramel & oak overtake. Light phenol throughout. Reminiscent of sherry. The bourbon really isn't heavy on this, which is refreshing with so many booze bombs out there. Classic dark fruit phenols upfront - fig, plum, etc - with those bourbon flavors entering on the mid-palate - toffee, caramel, vanilla. Very well-balanced, flavors compliment each other nicely, very rich. A kiss of heat on the end. Perhaps the classic quad flavors could have been more consistent throughout, but that is a bit of a nitpick. Great beer.

 652 characters

Photo of Jason_cs
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Driftpunx
3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of teromous
3.82/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle has an image of a barrel on the back that says: "CUVEE DE RVA 2015"
The front of the bottle says "2016 RELEASE"

Appearance: The body of the beer has a brown tea color and it is opaque. It has no head but a lot of small carbonation bubbles form along the surface of the beer in a fizzy fashion.

Aroma: The beer has an obvious alcohol aroma but it is quickly replaced with the scent of dates, cherries, and brown sugar.

Taste: Up front the alcohol kisses the edges of the tongue. Then, a sweetness rolls over the palate with a brown sugar and caramel flavor mixed with a light touch of cherry. It is a sweet tasting beer but it feels mellow and easy to drink so that the sweetness never becomes too strong. The aftertaste is a bit more of the alcohol with a bit of what tastes like cinnamon. Over time a bit of toffee flavor develops on the palate while drinking the beer which is very nice.

Mouthfeel: It's a very smooth and easy to drink beer with good carbonation. It's just a very enjoyable beer.

Overall: The aroma was decent but it was nothing compared to the flavor and smoothness of the beer. It is the kind of high alcohol beer that you could sit back and enjoy. The beer focuses on a sweet caramel and toffee flavor which is very mellow.

 1,261 characters

Photo of hophugger
3.57/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of bigred89
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ntanner83
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of buzzy
3.87/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of HattedClassic
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A really nice clear cherry red look that borders on a brown. It's very good looking. The bourbon is fairly powerful but not enough to dominate the quad and adds a nice sweetness as a result. The smell is a nice dark fruit and light caramel malt smell with a slight toffee in the middle of all of it. The taste has a much stronger bourbon and alcohol note. You still get a good caramel note to it but the other notes aren't as strong. Still good.
The feel is heavy and slightly syrupy but a bit smooth. There is a small thinness and burn from the alcohol but it isn't half bad. Go for it.

 587 characters

Photo of King_Lich13
4.82/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of avisong
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Riff
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown color with about a half finger of white head. The head dissipates fairly quickly to a little ring around the glass. Smells strongly of caramel upon opening the bottle, bourbon, vanilla, fortified wine. Tastes of raisins, fortified wine, vanilla, bourbon, plum, and a note of cherries on the finish. Lighter than I expected but a nice feel to it. Finishes rather quickly and cleanly. Fantastic beer, good flavors, light, and certainly doesn't feel like it's alcohol level.

 490 characters

Photo of ThreeBeersWalkedIn
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of avalon07
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a bright orange-y color with ruby tints and a clear consistency. There was a two inch, foamy, somewhat long-lasting. Not much lacing.

S: An aggressive aroma of citrus, whiskey, malt, and a bit of vanilla.

T: Tasted of a fair amount of malt, some Belgian yeast (not a whole lot), a lot of citrus (orange), a hint of vanilla, a big shot of whiskey, caramel, raisins, and some other dark fruit. An interesting flavor, due to the barrel aging. It doesn't always seem to work, but is still fascinating.

F: Not a huge amount of carbonation with a slightly syrupy finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Bourbon Cru is an uneven beer with some good qualities. Oddly drinkable.

 706 characters

Photo of cjgiant
3.71/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bottle:
It has a nice clear deep ruby brown body, but the head fizzes away like a Sprite commercial.

Nose is a light dark cherry with a little orange zest. There's a little fortified wine nature that comes out with the barrel aspects.

Flavor is a little more pitted fruity than dark fruity, the cherry and a little sweet plum with a half splash of orange liqueur. Vanilla notes add to the sweet impression, with the rawness and spice of the bourbon alcohol countering it. A little sticky sweet feel up front, that dissipates with an unexpectedly high level of prickly carbonation. There's a hint of a semi-dry red wine in the ending. Time diminishes the carbonation, helping the feel a tad.

There are some nice notes to this beer, especially the nose. The flavors need to blend a little better, and are thrown off to me by the feel early, which I expected/hoped would be smoother. That aspect weighed oddly heavily on my overall enjoyment.

 949 characters

Photo of 57md
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a muddy brownish copper with a half finger of head. The nose has really nice bourbon notes. The bourbon comes through really well in the flavor profile and there is no discernible burn. The downside is that the body is thin for the style and the rich sweet readiness that I love so much in a quad is just not present.

 323 characters

Photo of Mantooth
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Zonian1
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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Bourbon Barrel Cru from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 372 ratings