Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ) | Boulevard Brewing Co.

664 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: 664 | Ratings: 2,335
Photo of Sammy
4.07/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Terrific beer brought by the brewery to Cole's, on the way to Cooperstown. This one put aside for the real geeks, here I am. Brewed with cherries, and that aroma is a gift that keeps on giving. Great white head, lace. 18 months of cellaring, a good mellowing. Good quad.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.82/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to frenetic7 for sharing this one at the post Bruery Reserve Society party bottle share!

2011 vintage.

Pours a murky honey orange with no head and no lace. Smell is quite fruity with some vanilla, wood, and bourbon aromas. Taste is of bourbon, vanilla, and wood up front with a fruity aftertaste. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good barrel aged beer but it tastes better than it smells.

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

mildly underwhelmed by this. pours a brassy copper color, a little hazy with some good suds on top and a slow going southern sort of feeling about it. the nose is a touch smoky, a lot alcoholy, and plenty sweet as well, with a huge grain bill and enough woody bourbon notes to bring me down to Kentucky on an imaginary horse. I like this fresh better than aged, as the older version (2010) thins out quite a bit, loses its more tasty sweet elements, and takes on a peculiar cocktail sauce horseradish funk that just doesn't belong in a beer, at least not in a quad. fresh through, the vanilla is large, and the wood is campy and mature. there is a statesman quality about this, formal in a way, but lax enough to kick the shoes off too. a good mix. not arrogant, but certainly not laying low in the background either. this is a robust beer, with just enough carbonation and a little less body than most American made quads. I appreciate it for what it is, but would not that its overpriced and a must share bottle at almost 12% abv. get it while you can, I don't think its being made anymore...

edit: just had a 2011 bottle, about 5 years old, and while its held up really well, it reaffirms my position that its better fresh. its still boozy, so forget that mellowing much, and a lot of the cooler flavors of cherry and wood have subsided quite a bit. still delicious, more of a barleywine or old ale now.

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Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down and consistently left a short head covering the surface and thick lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of cherries and bourbon are present in the nose. The bourbon seems to become stronger as the beer warms up.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste starts out with flavors of bourbon from the barrel aging and then has some notes of cherries towards the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There is some warming from the alcohol.
O: I liked how cherries were added to this beer because they made it still taste like a quad and not like a bourbon-infused American Strong Ale. This beer is very drinkable considering its strength and tastes nothing like something that is 11% abv.

Note: 2014 vintage

Serving type: bottle

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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 biboergosum
4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml caged and corked bottle - always a thrill to see some of the bigger American whales just show up on yer local bottleshop shelves.

This beer pours a rather murky, dark apricot amber hue, with a teeming tower of puffy, tightly foamy, and mildly creamy tan head, which leaves some tacky wafting fog bank lace around the glass as it very slowly melts away.

It smells of bready, doughy caramel malt, heady Bourbon barrel notes - acrid wood, vanilla, and spicy corn/rye whiskey - muddled dark fruit, in the plum/raisin/date vein, a soft earthy yeastiness, tanned leather, and further generically fruity alcohol. The taste is actually more malty up front, the bready, grainy caramel/toffee sweetness predominating, until a sneakily subtle barrel character seeps in - more real vanilla, more testy wood staves - with a still mixed and matched dark orchard fruitiness, persistent musty leather, and leafy, earthy, and kind of perfumed hops.

The carbonation is certainly active, but in a low-key, genially frothy manner, the body a so-so medium weight, and pretty darned smooth, as even though you can taste the barrel measures, they seem to have no power here, which engenders a mild creaminess to boot. It finishes off-dry, the grainy caramel, varied fruitiness, and boozy wood all working together to convince me that I'm not drinking a 24-proof bevy.

Wow, this is good, nay, great! Except maybe for the lack of cherries (they're probably stirred in there somewhere with the rest of their fruity brethren), but since the brewer was up front about their subtly, Imma let that one pass. Crazy easy to drink, and equally enjoyable, this is a worthwhile ode to the Belgian monastic greats, and from a place where they can see the dead center of Flyover Zone, USA.

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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 largadeer
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy ruby red with a lingering white head that leaves no lace.

Smell: Sweet-tart cherry aroma with just a touch of barrel, vanilla and rich malt. Subtle on the bourbon, it's only faintly noticeable.

Taste & mouthfeel: Tart cherries open this one with a semi-dry malt foundation beneath. Drier than expected, and I'm grateful for it. Subtle bourbon presence, just a touch of vanilla and toffee-like sweetness. Spicy, drying finish. I was expecting more balance between the cherries and the bourbon, something along the lines of Cuvee de Tomme, but this is still very good.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.44/5  rDev -18.5%
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-

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep copper color ale with a great big foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of caramel and light toffee malt with some light dry fruits notes and some even more subtle notes of vanilla. Taste is also a nice mix between some caramel malt with balanced sweetness and some dry figs with a well rounded finish with a hint of vanilla from the bourbon. Barrel-aging is not as dominant as expected but bring a well rounded finish to this beer. Body is above average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well done though a not a Quad as per the precise style guideline but then who cares.

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Photo of zeff80
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle #02856

A - Poured out an opaque, burgundy color with a caramel-colored, very foamy, three-finger head. It left soapy residue on the sides of the glass.

S - It smelled of cherry, oak, bourbon, vanilla and yeast.

T - It tasted very malty and fruity (mostly cherry). It had a nice bourbon flavor without tasting boozy. Some candy sugar flavors and yeastiness.

M - It was crisp and smooth with a dry finish. A full-bodied ale.

D - This was really amazing. Great tasting. I wish they had made more.

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Photo of oline73
3.77/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle 8107 into a Chimay goblet. This bottle is from 2010.

Initially, when this beer was very cold the sour cherry notes dominated everything. The age has smoothed this beer out a lot. It's not nearly as sweet as I expected it to be. There are some dark fruit notes, but it's not nearly as candy like as I expected. There are some bourbon notes there, but I assume they have relaxed over time. The finish has a tartness to it, but the sweetness does show up a bit there. I'm getting some oak along with the bourbon. There is a funky note as well as some nice vanilla in the background.

The beer is cloudy reddish amber with a layer of off white head that sticks around. The carbonation is tingly and the body isn't as thick as I expected.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a darker shade of amber brown with a slight off white to tan head. Some spotty lacing. Nose brings a hefty dose of bourbon along with some nice vanilla, oak, dark fruit, spicy yeast, and a bit of brown sugar. Taste is mostly bourbon along with some nice sweet malt and some Belgian characteristics. Slight amounts of bourbon-based booze and a nice creaminess to it. Drinks really well. Quite unique and very enjoyable.

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Photo of mothman
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 2-2009 Bottle # 6007

Poured into a snifter.

Pours almost 2 fingers of fizzy light tan head. Pretty good retention with slight splattered lace. Color is a dark caramel brown.

Aroma: Bright cherry notes, caramel, toffee, oak, bourbon, light vanilla. Very mouth watering and tart. Wow this is amazing. Not too much bourbon here.

Taste: Wow, the taste is very different. The oak and bourbon notes are wonderfully present. Decent amount of cherries and vanilla. Nice toffee and caramel notes, some raisins as well. This beer is amazing.

Mouthfeel: smooth and creamy. Medium to full bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Hardly any head present which is really nice. Ends a little dry.

Overall, wow, I was amazed by this beer. Everything I could ask for in a quad. Simply amazing. The oak and bourbon really makes this beer click. This beer drank so fast. I need to get more of this beer before it is gone. Highly drinkable.

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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.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into chalice, bottled on 8/19/2013. Pours hazy deep reddish orange color with a 1 finger fairly dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of raisin, plum, fig, date, apple, tart cherry, clove, vanilla, toffee, bourbon, oak, coconut, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, and yeast/oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity fruity/spicy yeast, cherries, and bourbon barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, fig, date, apple, tart cherry, clove, vanilla, toffee, bourbon, oak, coconut, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, and yeast/oak earthiness. Light fruity tartness and moderate yeast/oak spice on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, fig, date, apple, cherry, vanilla, toffee, bourbon, oak, coconut, toast, brown sugar, and yeast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, bourbon barrel, and light-moderate tart cherry flavors; with a great malt/yeast/barrel balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth, fairly slick, and lightly syrupy/acidic mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome barrel aged quadrupel style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, bourbon barrel, and light-moderate tart cherry flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of jlindros
4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this awesome beer thanks to Ineedabeerhere and Doodler.

The beer pours with no carbonation, I'm a little disappointed at the lack of head which is very light and fizzy pockets, but that's about it. The beer is hazy murky orange brown wood stain like color.

Nose brings plenty of bourbon, a nice bourbon aroma with some sweet dark malts, Belgian malts, light fruits, very light lambic like fruit and hints of funk. It has plenty of oak as well, with some vanilla, maple, a hint of toffee, some cherry fruits, and a light wild yeast aroma.

The taste has more bourbon and plenty of oak still, with some vanilla, maple, lots of malts, a little toffee and touch of roasted malt. Again some cherry, a bit of cherry cough syrup, light cherry lambic notes with some light wild yeast bringing a touch of it's own bitterness. It's somewhat sweet, some warming booze and a little boozy taste. Sweet bourbon notes and a light syrupy sweet addition with hints of dark candi sugar, molasses, and a bit of smoke too. It finishes drier bit a little sweet with lingering booze and tingle, lots of lingering malts and bourbon, oak, vanilla, a little funky cherry. It has this sort of flavor of the center part of those creamy chocolate covered cherry.

The mouth is medium to heavier bodied with very little carbonation.

Drinkability is fairly good, some warming and tingly booze but drinks well for almost 12%, a little sticky as well, but for what it is it drinks very smoothly. The lack of carbonation really huts this beer, what could have been an easy A to A+, as this beer had a great nose and was delicious.

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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 chinchill
4.06/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large 2013 bottle served in a small snifter.

More-or-less clear dark amber with a weak light tan head.

The sweet aroma clearly reflects the oak bourbon barrel (BB) treatment, but grains are also evident.

Flavor; Mildly sweet. The high ABV adds an unmistakeable warmth but is not harsh and is otherwise well hidden.

Feel: light and lively, especially for style

O: Recommended. BB treatment obvious but not overdone.

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Photo of mactrail
4.16/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark amber, honey colored brew in the Affligem chalice. Plenty of fine-grained foam with a creamy mouthfeel. This is the best of the Belgian style-- a sudsy cloud of fragrant flavors with a warm, yeasty undertone. Deep aroma of vanilla and bourbon.

Rather sweet but nicely balanced with some bitter notes and a dark yeasty dry touch. Malty and rich with a pleasant tang. Some boozy flavors but not overly done. The fruity notes are a great touch, leaving a long aftertaste of brandied cherries.

Just hot enough with alcohol. A sweet, dark dream with a touch of fire. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Bottlecraft in San Diego.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.68/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Cloudy caramel pour, and I was surprised at the active, foamy head that formed, though this soon sank down to a thin layer, and left a few streaks of lacing on the glass. Aroma of smashed cherries, brown sugar, and a mix of bourbon and fusel alcohol. Tastes of brown sugar, vanilla, candi sugar, dark fruit notes, and oak soaked in bourbon and moonshine, with the woodiness taking an edge over the booziness. Medium body, moderate carbonation, enjoyable, but not very smooth, and maybe a bit too messy. Still a solid brew overall.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an opaque, dark mahogany body with a fizzy, beige-colored head.

Smell: Decidedly sweet-smelling aroma simply coated in candi sugar scents as well as notes of toasted malts, San Pedro figs, Medjool dates (you eat'm!), golden raisins, and, only slightly, barrel-derived wood and brown sugar.

Taste: Toasted and caramel malts slathered and slathered again in dark syrup. Rich dark fruitiness throughout. Somewhat subdued barrel character, but you still get hints of brown sugar and oak. Very nominal spicy hop component and imparted bitterness. Slight peppery alcohol and belly-pleasing warmth emerges on the tail end. The finish is dry, vaguely spicy, and fruity.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-high carbonation. Fair amount of stickiness to the mouthfeel, though the carbonation tries to keep things relatively light.

Drinkability: Pretty good! What, did you think BBQ was a rookie brew? Sure, you can find better quads and better barrel-aged beers, but this one still manages to hold its own.

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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 mdaschaf
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Lee for this one!

A: Pours a dark ruby color with a massive tan head, very billowy, that lasts for a few minutes. Rather typical of the corked and caged bottle from Boulevard. Spotty lacing.

S: A great combination of bourbon and cherries with a very slight tartness. There is some vanilla, brown sugar, and a little bit of molasses.

T: Lots of cherry up front, reminds me of a flanders, but less tart. The back end is full of quad flavors, more dark fruit, some brown sugar, and then some vanilla and a little bourbon.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Very smooth though, very faint sign of the abv.

O: Another great beer from Boulevard. The combination of bourbon and cherries is great. A nice sipper that I enjoyed throughout the evening. Thanks again Lee!

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Photo of russpowell
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours copper/caramel with 3+ fingers of tan head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Slight smokeyness, figs & plums, cherries

T: Plums, figs, candi sugar, & hint of sour mash up front. Slight tart/sourness as this warms, then a slightly sweet cherry, oaky dryness, plus a bit of booze warmth, a bit of plummyness & candi sugar. Finishes dry with much tart cherry & a kiss of vanilla

MF: Chewy, minimal carbonation, some stickyness

The ABV is extremely well disguised, not as fruitty or malty as I hoped, liked it about as much as the sixth glass version, both have their charms & a few minor detractors, to me this like an amped up & slightly better version Troegs Mad Elf ( having never had any of the one offs of the Elf)..

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Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ) from Boulevard Brewing Co.
4.22 out of 5 based on 2,335 ratings.
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