Bourbon Barrel Quad Barrel-Aged Ale (BBQ) | Boulevard Brewing Co.

680 Reviews
Bourbon Barrel Quad Barrel-Aged Ale (BBQ)Bourbon Barrel Quad Barrel-Aged Ale (BBQ)

Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Missouri, United States

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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Reviews: 680 | Ratings: 2,376
Reviews by tut2528:
Photo of tut2528
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

More User Reviews:
Photo of rorjets
4.91/5  rDev +16.4%
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 BEERchitect
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An increadible beer that defies styles, challenges the taste buds, and pushes the edges of experimental to the brim. All that, and this is a really good beer!

The beer pours a deep ruby, mohogany color that seems to glow with more crimson highlights than any other beer. An off white head takes a 1/4" foot hold and never relinquishes. Lots of lacing on the glass and a moderate haze throughout. A handsome looking beer.

Mouthwatering aromas of deep amber and toasty malts that give a firm base of toffee, rich breads, and a hint of chocolate tucked in closely behind. A lot of fruity character comes undoutedly from the cherry additions but also from yeasty esters giving more berry, apple, and fig character. All this wrapped up in a bourbony, vanilla, and caramel complexity.

Flavors swirl with the bourbon, fruits, and hearty malts giving a newly found taste with every sip. Agressive in the strength of alcohol but delicate in the soft vanillans and cotton-candy caramels. Wood chracter gives a nutty, oaky, and slightly musty character that accents the cherries and gives the yeasty flavors a bit of company. Perhaps a bit tart at times, the beer may have a few bugs on board- but it could be all cherries too.

Body is full, round, rich, but not thick or heavy. In true Quad fashion, the beer's carbonation lifts it off of the surfaces of the mouth and seem to partially evaporate just before the warm and lingering finish.

This is a terrific beer that belongs among the best. Thanks BlueOkie!

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Photo of WithinTheGlass
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was more than a little excited to see a shelf full of this at my local grocery alcove.

This beer is beautiful. The bottle is the usual "limited release" design from Boulevard, and the pour reveals a deep and promising amber.

The smell REALLY reminds me of Boulevard's own "Rye on Rye." A bit of slick coconut and some strong grainy scents dominate the initial nose. A second whiff reveals cherries and a hint of spice. Perfectly tantalizing!

Tastes like it smells, and (again) reminds me ever so fondly of Rye on Rye. It has a different sort of taste for a quad, and definitely plays more to the bourbon/fruit beer crowd. Oddly enough, Boulevard's "Sixth Glass" might be a better quad... but certainly not a better brew. At room temp, this beer opens up with some delicious dryness and an even bigger dose of cherry pulp. Delicious

Dry, spicy, tangy. The dryness is definitely the defining attribute of the mouthfeel, in my opinion. Outstanding.

This is up there with the very best that Boulevard has to offer. Lightweights and non-commited beer drinkers might consider sharing this (duh) but I had no trouble sipping it down by myself over a few hours. A highly recommended beer, and a truly unique one!

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Photo of Nashvillain
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I almost don't even want to rate this. I have a hard time admitting that perfection exists, even in something as trivial as beer. Bottled 2/2009 served into a Unibroue tulip.

The pour, even though not vigorous produces a fluffy tan head. Sitting atop a leather base, the tan head lingers. Forever. It recedes slightly, but sticks around coating the glass with a nice lattice lacing, holding on to the sides of the glass for dear life.

Sounds like a bowl of rice krispies. Maybe a cheery fire in the winter time, this beer has something to say, and what it says is "what's up?". It's begging me to take a sip.

The smell immediately bursts forth with tart cherries and caramel. There's some quad spice in the background, but the delicate tartness takes the forefront.

The beer flows into the mouth and fills it first with a quad-like spice. The spice turns into an oaky vanilla and then finally fades into a delicious bourbon sweetness. Holding everything together is a light tartness that ties everything up in a nice little package. The beer is phenomenal. It talks to me on so many levels. Liquid excellence. Perfection even.

 1,130 characters

Photo of Mattwm
5/5  rDev +18.5%

This is a fantastic beer that has nearly everything, fantastic head, great aroma, lingering taste that lets you remember good times. This is not thick or heavy just wonderful. You will be transported to what beer should be. No defined genera just fantastic taste and aroma.This is a beer that makes me hopeful for other american beers,

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a hazy, deep copper in color. Somewhere between a cherry wood tone the slick brown color on its bottle's label. Medium to large 3 finger head forms and retains very well. Lacing is ok. The body is dark enough to make it opaque, but it is also very hazy.

S- Massively complex. Starts with traditional quad flavors of dark fruits, biscuit-like malts, and a yeasty smell before the barrel takes over. The barrel flavors tend toward vanilla and sweet caramel and toffee. Hardly any trace of bourbon or oak. Cherries are on the back end of this smell.

T- Just like the scent; terrifically complex. Starts with a little more of the cherry and dark fruit flavors before moving toward the barrel flavor. The barrel flavors are fairly sweet and mellowed, mixing between vanilla, char, caramel malts, and toffee, with the cherries making a return on the back end. Biscuity flavor are present throughout the entire drink, taking a backseat and allowing the other flavors to work their magic in the foreground.

M- Smooth as hell, mild in carbonation, and no alcohol heat in the taste. Slight warming effect in the throat, but nothing compared to what it could be with the ABV.

Overall, holy crap! This beer could make Trappists scream in their abbeys. This is like taking the best beers of the old world, mixing them with cherries, America's best bourbon barrels, and fairy dust, and coming out with a beer that could make a grown man cry. Seriously, it's that good. I need to buy more bottles.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Boulevard Brewing Co. "Bourbon Barrel Quad"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, "BEST BY... 09SEP2018"
$4.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Look: Very hazy brown with a ruby cast and orange & gold highlights. The sediment was disturbed and large bits can be seen floating. Very fine bubbled, seemingly moderate carbonation - not a whole lot of activity going on. The creamy yellowed light tan head dropped fairly quickly to an almost but not quite full surface covering. Limited spotty lacing.

Smell: A quick passing note of Belgian yeastiness/phenols, Bourbon, oak, dark sugar, dark skinned fruit, coconut.

Taste: Fruity (sharp red fruit, dark skinned fruit... maybe raisin, plum and cherry in the finish), oaky/woody, clear Bourbon, brown sugar, medium-dark caramel, Belgian yeast character (subtle plastic, spice, banana), subtle vanilla. It's moderately bitter (listed on the back label as 26 IBUs), especially in comparison to the sugary malt which falls somewhere between "sweetish" and "sweet", but it's also subtly tart, and it finishes drying with a touch of spiciness and some cherry as the malt steadily fades. The alcohol doesn't readily appear but it's there helping to dry it.

Feel: Medium bodied with a touch of sugariness, a little lighter than I thought it might be, but good with a very-fine bubbled, apparently natural moderate carbonation level. It gently tingles before warming to become airy/foamy and then smooth.

Overall: Quite impressive. I was not initially in love with the flavor, although I loved the aroma, until it warmed a bit. At that point it opened up and became quite complex. This is another great beer to relax with: a cigar beer, or one that you sip at while reading "War And Peace" in your high-back leather chair while the fire gently crackles ;) In the end, although the sum of its parts don't seem to lead there, there is something kind of magical and special about it.

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Photo of futiledevices
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: Medium tan head, dark, opaque brown amber in color
Smell: Bourbon, dark cherry, yeasty bread dough, baked apples, leather, hard crack caramel
Taste: Wood, honey, alcohol, slightly tart cherry on the back end that brightens the flavor, toffee, raisin, black tea, and a little bit of clovey eugenol finish
Feel: Warm and chewy

Bottled 11/10/16, 12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. Delicious, woody, rich beer with some high fruity notes that lift the flavor up and slightly mask the high ABV. Not my #1, but definitely in my top 10 quads. Worth the $17 I paid for a 4-pack.

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Photo of FBGordon
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

While I enjoy the Bourbon notes that come through on the palate, this beer screams "BOOZEY" from start to finish.

113 characters

Photo of awayne56
4.44/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

To get the full effect of the brewer's magic allow this beer to warm some and sip it slowly savoing each sip. Delicious and complex.
A - Dark tea color, with a 1/2 inch tan head that dissipates quickly. Zero lacing on my glass which is ok by me for this style. Did I say murky? Very murky, almost dirty looking which may turn off some. I like it. The appearance is full of character, not transparent.
Smell - Not much until the beer warms some and then I pick up mostly caramel and some bourbon.
Taste - A juicy blend of fruitiness - cherries - and malt - caramel/vanilla. If you take a moment between sips you'll notice some spiciness of the finish
Feel - Very drinkable, thin not thick feeling with a little booze burn
Overall - Already a fan of The Sixth Glass, I love this beer. Delicious, complex. An awesome sipping beer to pair with a cigar and conversation. For me the ABV is the only downside though the ABV is typical of the style. Just take it slow remembering it is a sipping beer not a session beer.

 1,015 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with a bounteous head that leaves a hieroglyphic pattern of lace on the chalice

Smell: Figs, cherries and brown sugar, up front, with the bourbon barrel clearly coming through; a leathery aspect, too

Taste: Fruity, at the outset, with figs first, brown sugar next and then sour cherries arriving; by mid-palate, the bourbon barrel takes over, with the oaky vanilla flavors dominating, perhaps a bit too much; after the swallow, the sour fruit and bourbon flavors are prominent

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with a high level of carbonation; plenty of warmth as well

Drinkability: Certainly interesting, but the combination of the sour cherry and bourbon flavors just doesn't cut it for me, from a drinkability perspective

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Photo of Nunya
3.45/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

You certainly taste the bourbon but for me it's just a little too much, not a good enough balance. I could just water down some bourbon and almost have the same drink.

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Photo of Cramshawbar
3/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I knew what I was getting into with a bourbon quad, a style I don't like. But just because I don't like a style, it doesn't mean I won't try it, especially when it originates from Boulevard. And I was right. No, I still don't like this, but Boulevard at least managed better than others (to my liking at least). The cherry is somewhat recognizable (usually the fruit indicated is drowned by the bourbon). No head, no lacing, murky glassful of tamed booziness. The best feature is the nose.
Anyway, once I am finished with this bottle of 2015 vintage, I will never try again but I am glad I have done so for Boulevard's sake.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

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Photo of Best_Enjoyed_In_Texas
3.4/5  rDev -19.4%
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 bobhits
2.9/5  rDev -31.3%
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 BuckeyeNation
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Sure I eat what I advertise. Sure I eat Wheaties for breakfast. A good bowl of Wheaties with bourbon can't be beat."

--Dizzy Dean

Batch 1-2008. Murky caramel in the center and blurry apricot nearer the edges. The firm ecru colored crown reached three fingers on the pour, something that is almost unheard of with barrel-aged beer of this ABV. It looks pretty good during descent, but doesn't deposit much sudsy residue on the glass.

The nose is sweetish and earthy and brown malty, with a modest bourbon presence and no cherries. Not the powerhouse that was expected, though time and warming could change that. Looks like the last chance for craft beer immortality is on the palate.

Bourbon Barrel Quad is a wonderful big beer that has taken more than two years in the cellar in stride. It seems that the body/mouthfeel has broken down a bit (which wasn't unexpected), but the flavor definitely delivers. It helps if you love bourbon whiskey, because it's much more apparent on the taste buds than in the nose.

Mouth, tongue, esophageal and belly warming are more suited to December or January cold than August heat. Then again, good beer knows no season. Flavors include brown bread covered with orange marmalade and cherry jam, English toffee, vanilla bean and several staves worth of oak. What an outstanding sipper.

The only (teensy weensy) fly in the ointment is a mouthfeel that has seen better days. Wait just a minute... by the midway point of the bottle it gains a little chewiness to go along with the glassy smoothness of perfect carbonation.

Bourbon Barrel Quad is yet another outstanding Smokestack Series Ale from the talented folks at Boulevard. Hey guys, if you're listening, please bring back a few of your greatest hits... like Imperial Stout and BBQ. As regular releases if possible.

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Photo of oberon
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 bottle,bottled 9/17/2015.Pours into a chalice a hazy russet brown with a thick creamy light khaki colored head atop that leaves broken lace behind as it settles into a frothy mass.a mix of bourbon/vanilla,caramel,and dark fruits in the nose...even some brown sugar detected.Bourbon soaked cherries with light toast,the caramel and brown hit nicely in the finish.Iam not sure I have had a quad as creamy in feel,just fantastic!Now this is a freakin great beer,I need to get more.

 484 characters

Photo of aszatk01
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Marklaker
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of brownbeer
4.67/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottling consumed 5-13-10

Deep cherry color with great spectacle of creamy head that doesn't quit 'til you do.

The nose is of sour cherry jam and vanilla seamlessly blending with cinnamon sticks and an ever so slight funk. Phenomenal.

The taste is similar. Just throw in some chocolate, caramel, and the silkiest, most perfectly carbonated mouthfeel possible and you have it.

The 08 is truely an amazing quad with a completely original twist. I wish I could say the same about the 09 BBQ, but the carbonation and flavor integration just isn't there.

 558 characters

Photo of npala86
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of dolivaw
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of tbryan5
4.39/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a reddish pink and brown gold with lots of sediment and a nice head.
S- Sweet, boozy. A tad fruity with dark fruits predominating.
T- Wow. A great base quad that was further enhanced by the addition of cherries and oak barrel aging. It offers everything its advertising.
M- Slightly creamy and a medium mouthfeel. Good carbonation.
D- This beer lives up to its rating. Try it if you haven't.

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Bourbon Barrel Quad Barrel-Aged Ale (BBQ) from Boulevard Brewing Co.
4.22 out of 5 based on 2,376 ratings.
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