Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ) | Boulevard Brewing Co.

655 Reviews
Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ)Bourbon Barrel Quad (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: 655 | Ratings: 2,308
Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle (smokestack series) BB Nov 10 2018,into a Funky Buddha snifter.

Thick creamy off white head ,that stands almost 2 fingers tall.Dark hazy brown,with light red hues.Distorted light showing through the glass,and lots of goopy sediment floating around.Minimal carbonation.

On the nose I get mostly sweet malts,nuts,smoked wood,caramel,and even some bright yet faint citrus notes.Slight hints as bourbon as well,but not as prominent as I thought it would be.

On the palate I get mostly sweet malts,and bright citrus up front,followed by caramel,nuts,smoked wood,and slight barrel flavors.The bourbon is hard to detect.

The mouth feel is medium,with some alcohol warming.

This is a good quad,a little less bourbon,and more sediment than I expected,but a very nice brew.

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Photo of KettleBellFreak
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Happy to drink this one. bb aug2018

Huge nose of honey, malt, nuts, bourbon, honey and a light herbalness too it.

Taste was great barrel character, ginger, spice, malt and a slight sweetness that I couldn't decide if it was a syrupy sweet or a fruit sweet. Expected more bourbon but got much more barrel.

Mouthfeel was big and carbonated, but thick. Great balance.

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Photo of kevinlater
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage, best before sep 30 2017 as per the LCBO's re-labeling. raisin, brown sugar, and mild cherry flavours blend incredibly well with the soft (but not weak!) layers of oak and vanilla coming from the barrel-aging. a very easy-going alcohol bite makes this a surprisingly easy-drinking beer at 11.8%. i don't find this beer complex at all, or any kind of stellar, but it's a warming treat that i enjoyed every sip of. i would definitely like to have this again in the future. recommended for big beer fans!

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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 CHickman
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 Vintage, pours dark red/chestnut brown color with a foamy 1-2 finger sand colored foamy head that was full of bubbles and faded around average time and left minimal spotty lacing and a ring of foam around the glass.

Smells of sweet malt, raisins, brown sugar, toffee, toasted grains, French toast and dark fruit. There are a lot of earthy notes but only faint whiffs of the oak barrels and bourbon. For a Bourbon Barrel Quad it was light on both the bourbon and barrel.

Flavor has a lot more fruity characteristics and complexities, bringing the additions of cherries, booze like dark rum, faint piney hops, yeast and peppery spices in addition to the sweet malt, raisins, toffee, brown sugar, toasted grains, French toast and dark fruit. It has a red wine qualities like pinot noir, bringing more berries into the mix with the oak and sweet rich malty tastes. It has spices in the finish and nice woody barrel notes which covers the 11.8% ABV quite well.

Mouthfeel is smooth yet thick and on the heavy side, but not very thick. The carbonation is mellow and almost flat but that works out well as the booze always seems to peek through so that combo helps it flow down easier than it should as it allows the malt flavors to be the star of the show. It got better as it warmed, allowing more tart fruity notes and sweet malt/bready aspects to come through in the lingering candied sugar finish. Really enjoyable, my only real disappointment was that the bourbon and barrel notes were not stronger. Overall it was a damn good beer.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Murky, yeast-laden mahogany brown with a short head that dissipates immediately.

Raisin, prune, black plum, red grape, toffee, caramel, bourbon, and charred oak.

Loads of dark fruit. Raisin, prune, dates, black plum, pinot noir, and hints of bing cherry. Caramel and toffee with touches of banana. Light bourbon presence with notes of charred oak and vanilla.

Medium bodied, slick, oily, and warming with moderate carbonation.

Complex with a nice balance bordering on the sweeter side.

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Photo of lic217
3.91/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: Cloudy brownish/red, head dissipates fast, big floating
Aroma: Alcohol, bourbon, vanilla
Taste: Follows the nose, plus some dark fruit flavors, finishes slightly sweet, big alcohol finish
Feel: Drinks big, highly carbonated
Overall: Good, not great. Does not drink much like beer.

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Photo of haazer
3.87/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2014 bottle.

Pours a deep copper colored, highly carbed beer with about a finger and a half of lasting tan head. The scent is a blend of vanilla, cherries, oak and bourbon notes. The sticky "mary jane candy like" malt nose is there that is my own way of describing a belgian quads nose. Once the head dissolves and the beer is exposed the bourbon scent becomes stronger. The flavors are somewhat subdued. I pick up the cherry at first, then the vanilla and the bourbon take over. I get a feeling these barrels are pretty charred. Can't taste the booze at all, but I also don't really pick up the flavors of a quad. There is a good malt backbone to this beer thats felt in the aftertaste. The mouth is chewy, highly carbed and full bodied.

I was highly intrigued by this beer when I bought it. Though good, I think I set my expectations too high for it. Maybe I shouldn't have cellared it so long. Still very solid though.

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Photo of THSdrummer
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours murky, with a dark-copper, burgundy hue. Head formation is two fingers of off-white head. Nice and foamy, with moderate to strong retention. Nice considering the barrel aged aspect, but not great for a quad. Belgian yeast esters, bourbon, barrel, plum, and cherries fill up the aroma. Clearly Belgian, but with an American bourbon twist. Off to a solid start. Notes from the base beer - Sixth Glass - shine through in the flavor profile, with notes of fig, Belgian yeast esters, and plum come through first. The bourbon, barrel, and cherries pop through later. Strong flavor profile, with loads of complexity. Mouth feel is medium-thick, with a filling consistency. Texture has some minor grainy notes to it, but otherwise smooth. Overall, a well-crafted beer that plays a wonderful twist on Boulevard's Sixth Glass. The bourbon notes are well-played, without being overpowering, or off-putting.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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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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Photo of 10Design
4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have been putting off buying this beer due to the label, for some reason as a a designer, I just can't stand the label of this beer. However, that has nothing to do with the actual review.

Look: Dark copper quad, thick head dissipates to a white film.
Smell: Sweet, fruity, light alcohol tinge.
Taste: Different than a typical Belgium quad, way sweeter, caramel taste. Bourbon definitely comes through in hints of vanilla and oak.
Feel: Tingly on the tongue, very thin however, though also smooth.

Worth a try, would not buy a four pack.

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Photo of raynmoon
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours out like a quad, hazy, ruby red with a fluffy tan head. Smell is cherry juice. It's all cherries. Cherries and some spice. Taste brings in the bourbon. Great vanilla and oak mix with muddled cherry and spicy yeast. It's great. This is just a great beer. I was expecting more barrel, given the name.

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Photo of donspublic
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into tulip, massive 2 finger tan head, recedes to 1 finger after about 5 minutes, still hanging around as I drink, nice lacing, beautiful beer. Brownish amber in the glass, somewhat hazy and some visible yeast. Smells initially of bourbon after it is poured, as it warms up some cherry is peeking thru. Taste is incredibly complex. Getting a tart cherry/bourbon flavor up front then it fades into more fig, caramel, toffee and the vanilla finishing out the end. Finish is semi sweet with more bourbon flavor at the end, it seems boozy, but not in a hot way. Man this was a steal for < $5 off the single rack. I didn't splurge for the 4 pack in case it didn't float my boat. But man it is a boat floater. And to think this shit is year round. Nice. I also like that the barrel aging play's very well with the yeast, I get a somewhat similar taste profile on Wooden Rooster from Tallgrass. Midwest be knocking it out

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

A: Poured into a snifter to a deep brown with some reddish highlights so overall a nice mahogany color. The beer is topped by a finger and a half of dense cream colored head that retains well and leaves some lacing
S: Smells of dark fruits and caramel with some nice vanilla from the bourbon barrels. Some mulling spices and cherry as well
T: Taste is dark fruits with caramel, vanilla and oak with some nice spicyness toward that back with a little bit of alcohol soaked cherry. Swallow is more caramel and dark fruits with some more vanilla, oak and lingering spice.
M: The beer has a body that is on the heavier side of medium with a somewhat creamy mouthfeel. The carbonation is soft and slightly prickly at times while the beer finishes on the drier side of things.
O: Overall this is one very nice quad and the addition of the bourbon barrels adds some nice dimensions to it. It drinks well and if you like Belgian beers with a bit of a twist this is one to get your hands on.

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

2015 vintage served at warmer cellar temps in a tulip

Appearance: cherry copper with a fluffy and sticky khaki head, light sediment and floaters

Nose: bourbon, oak, vanilla, cherries, alcohol, dark fruits, slight marshmallow, coconut

Taste: follows the nose perfectly but with some added sweetness from the alcohol. The booziness is very understated for a 11.8% ABV BBA Quad; I would put this more in the 8-9% range, very dangerous. Nice barrel complexity, I believe the cherry shines through the bourbon here.

Overall: this is one of the better quads I've ever had. It lacks the super aggressive barrel character that Firestone Walker takes on (Stickee Monkee) and I do think it lacks the grace and finesse that traditional Quad's from Belgium Rochefort 10 or LaTrappe Quad) tend to exhibit. However, this is an American version and it takes on a life of its own. I'm excited to see how this beer changes in a few years.

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Photo of Zorro
3.99/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chill hazed brown colored ale with a medium sized tan colored head.

Smells sweet and strongly of figs. Woody oak scent and a lesser scent of whiskey. Scent of toffee candy. Smells fruity but nothing in particular except fig. I know cherry is in this but I can't smell it.

Starts out sweet with the taste of plum and fig. Taste of whiskey. Mildly smoky taste. Clear taste of cherry. Alcohol not tasted but it is felt.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a good quad but not the best I have had.

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Photo of bentrider1957
4.82/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Dark Amber. Slightly Cloudy but to style. Head retention is slight but apparent. Good retention for high alcohol

S: Deep oak with hints of dark fruits like figs and raisins. Also smoke and cherry wood. Very balanced aroma with hints of smoke that doesn't overpower. Not quite as smokey as some similar beers

T: High alcohol but no hint of fusels. Deep character of smoke and high malt character. Well balanced hops that combine well with the tastes of dark cherry, figs, raisins and dates. Complex layers of different and interesting blends of fruits and smoke.

M: Rich mouthfeel with clingy and enjoyable layers of character. Long lasting mouthfeel but no burn for such a high alcohol beer.

O: One of the best beers that I have had. I compare it to Epic Brewing (Utah) Smoked and Oaked. This is a very balanced beer that will challenge your taste buds and make you think about the complexity of a great Quad or Tripel.

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Photo of atr2605
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a cloudy, almost muddy amber copper color with an off white head that lasts forever, and creates nice lacing
S-tons of vanilla, nutmeg, toasted marshmallow, caramel, some dark fruit in the background
T-dark fruit up front, with some tartness, followed by vanilla, marshmallow, and caramel flavors, with alcohol and more vanilla in the finish
M-medium bodied and smooth with high carbonation
O-very complex and delicious brew. Will definitely continue to seek out

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Photo of scotorum
3.84/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75


Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Unibroue Blanche de Chambly stemmed pilsner.

a: Clear copper with a two inch thick offwhite head which receded slowly to thick surface foam and patchy lacing.

s; Alcohol and dark ripe fruit.

t: Bitter and sour overripe fruit with a mild whiskey undertone. Sour finish. Later more whiskey and fruit flavors become evident.

m; Medium, good body and carbonation tingle.

o; Started out sour enough to dominate the barrel aging not to mention sweet dark fruit quad flavors I would prefer to be tasting. But it did improve a lot as it warmed (the 11.8% ABV may have had something to do with that) and I see others only mentioning a "tartness" at most, so perhaps this first bottle of the $15 fourpack, put up 8/4/16, was not representative. If the rest are better I'll revise.

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

12oz. bottle from Brewery: This one pours an opaque dark caramel color. There was no head or lacing to it. The nose is good. Some bourbon, candi sugar, malts, dark fruits. The taste is very good. Some bourbon, but not too much. Some sweet malts, vanilla, faint fruits, A really nice quad.

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Photo of Mindcrime1000
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a single serve bottle, as opposed to the caged 750, into a tulip.

Appearance--Pours a more translucent to clear than expected, but fine two-finger tan head that quickly dissipates to classic lacing. Very quickly settles into something between a weakly-brewed coffee and a dark tea.

Smell--Malt, vanilla, oak, then bourbon in that order, followed by the faintest of cherry, though I wonder if I'm smelling it more because I'm looking for it.

Taste--Similar to the smell, but the bourbon is more pronounced on the palate than it is on the nose. Full disclosure, I am not a bourbon drinker, so the "4.5" may be lower than it deserves. That said, the bourbon/vanilla provides a fine creaminess that goes well with the classic quad malts. Perhaps a little bit cloying on the sweetness, but the carbonation and warming alcohol helps balance that out. I'm still not tasting the cherry that other reviewers have mentioned, but there is a trace of acidity compared to a typical quad that is probably the cherry note I'm just not quite sophisticated enough to derive. Still, an excellent brew.

Feel--Good carbonation and mouth-feel, though some may find it a little "thin" in the body department. I can't help but wonder what just a bit more carbonation would do to provide a crisp or dry note to balance the sweetness.

Overall--Considering I'm not ordinarily a big fan of the bourbon-barrel-aged offerings of this style, this one is excellent, perhaps because the bourbon isn't an "in your face" note, but just part of the overall palate. A very smooth, dangerously-drinkable 11.8 ABV quad.

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Photo of jooler
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

look is a dried date brown. half inch of yellow head. great lacing on the head.
smell is of tons of bananas. that is basically all i am getting.
taste is bananas, but i also taste cherries. after taste is of wine, maybe a white zin.
feel is pretty damn smooth. not overly carbonated.
overall, a really good quad. and at almost 12%, its very smooth.

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Photo of WunderLlama
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into pint glass

Dense, billowy two finger taupe foam cap over translucent brown liquid. Looks like brewed tea. Some lacings. Sediment in the bottom of the bottle

Aroma of sweet bourbon, malts

Get a little bourbon on the first taste , tartness, oakiness, toffee

Mouthfeel is thinner than I expected , taste the alcohol on subsequent sips

Good beer

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Photo of BSiegs
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous looking beer. Dark amber to light brown in color. Very opaque. Light caramel head, plentiful small, nitro like bubbles. Phenomenal retention. The aroma has strong belgian character, fruity esters, tart cherry, and slight funk. Raisins, stone fruits. Bourbon and barrel notes are present but subtle. The taste is raisins, figs, stone fruit. Bourbon comes through much more strongly, along with a still subtle but stronger note of oak. Slightly leathery and spicy as well. Medium full body, low-moderate carbonation, and a dry finish with slightly lingering alcohol heat. A really excellent, complex brew.

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Photo of ccg
3.81/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful, deep, ruby red color with lots of lacing on the glass and healthy head that never really dissipates.
The smell is sweet, malty Belgian beer with some brown sugar and some noticeable extra heat from alcohol. It doesn't seem exactly bourbon-barrel-aged, but there is a definite extra sweetness and bite on top of the usual quad smell.
The flavor is pretty similar. Sweet malt, vanilla, bread. Noticeable alcohol heat even though its 11.8% ABV is really not _that_ high, compared to some BBA stouts.
Mouthfeel is good. Sticky with the right amount of carbonation.
This a darn good bba quad, and I love that Boulevard is now distributing it in 4-packs of 12-ounce bottles instead of only in 750ml bottles like before.

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Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ) from Boulevard Brewing Co.
4.22 out of 5 based on 2,308 ratings.
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