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

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Bourbon Barrel Quad Barrel-Aged Ale (BBQ)Bourbon Barrel Quad Barrel-Aged Ale (BBQ)
2,587 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,587 |  Reviews: 734
Photo of Sammy
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
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 kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of jaydoc
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
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 UCLABrewN84
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
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 kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -23.7%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
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 t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of biboergosum
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
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 BEERchitect
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
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 oline73
3.77/5  rDev -11.5%
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 kojevergas
3.44/5  rDev -19.2%
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 emerge077
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
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 zeff80
4.6/5  rDev +8%
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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Bourbon Barrel Quad Barrel-Aged Ale (BBQ) from Boulevard Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 2,587 ratings