Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings!

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ) | Boulevard Brewing Co.

621 Reviews
Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ)Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ)

Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Missouri, United States | website

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 621 | Ratings: 2,191
Photo of AleWatcher
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 2-- best before 10.13. Bottle 7690/11248
poured into duvel tulip.

This dark, murky beer is brown with bourbon and red hues throughout. Big 4 finger head is caramel color and last quite a while and leaves thick ameoba-shaped lace clumps all along the sides of the glass.

Smell is huge bourbon/whiskey with cherry and toffee in a big way too. Some other nondescript sweet smell blends with everything else to create a really enjoyable bouquet.

The huuuge bourbon of the nose just attacks my nostrils. This is the bourbon bomb that you whiskey fans need to seek out! The booze is bigger than most barrel aged stouts-- in a really good way! The addition of the cherries really adds quite a bit in terms of making this easy to drink. Some oaky, vanilla, toffee, and dark fruits all mix it up with the booze with positive results.

The beer is pretty smooth, with lots of warmth-- a tasty and complex beer with enough flavor to impress the hardest critics. Plenty of carbonation make this an easy drinker though the body is pretty full. I will have no problem finishing the bottle myself.

EDIT: upon letting this warm up, I am greatly reminded of a dr pepper or cherry cola. Even more impressively delicious!

 1,212 characters

Photo of Reagan1984
3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #1 - 2009
Bottle 8709 of 11384

Big thanks to Bhalter8 for this nice beer.

Even with an aggressive pour there is little head on this beer. Just some slight tan foam. The beer has excellent clarity while being a deep amber color. No lacing.

Aroma is of Bourbon, some sweetness and lots dark fruit with just a sense of tartness

The flavor is full of dark fruits with both figs and dates present. There is definitely a slight tart flavor as well. Bourbon, vanilla and a faint cherry flavor all meld nicely in the complex flavor. Also something slightly metallic in the taste. You get a sense of the wood too.

Mouth feel is medium in body. Fizzy carbonation and a warming feeling from the ABV.

This is a beer that grew on me as it warmed and I warmed to it. Decent beer. Not great, but decent.

 804 characters

Photo of ffejherb
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to akorsak for sharing this 750ml bottle on 6/3/10.

A - Poured a slightly hazy reddish, copper-tinged liquid with a billowy head of beige foam that reduced to spotty lace that stuck to the side of the glass.

S - Initial aroma is sweet with a hint of vanilla as well as black cherry. Reminiscent of rum-soaked candy, actually. Nose is strong but sweet, with a moderate alcohol presence and oaky notes suggesting barrel wood.

T - Flavor blends syrupy cherry notes with a pleasant bourbon character, vanilla sweetness, oozy caramel and toffee notes and a hint of alcohol warmth. Finishes with caramel and chocolate sweetness.

M - Thick and syrupy body with a sticky, sweet mouthfeel and moderate alcohol warmth on the palate.

D - Perhaps my favoite Boulevard beer I've had thus far. I found the bourbon presence to be pretty spot-on here, giving the flavor a nice balance of sweet, woody and alcohol notes.

 918 characters

Photo of FLBeerGuy
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber color with a thin tan head that leaves some nice sticky lacing.

Nose is yeast, bourbon, cherries some oak and some alcohol.

Taste is yeast, tart cherries, bourbon and some smokiness from the oak. Some alcohol warming on the way down. A nice complex mix that changes as the beer warms.

Even with the high ABV, this one is dangerously drinkable.

This is a big complex beer and a very good one at that, worth seeking out.

 442 characters

Photo of homebrew311
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: pours a hazy red with hints of purple, translucent, thin layer of creamy tan head, some sticky lacing

S: wow this one smells tart... big acidic notes of tart cherries, lots of oak character, a bit of funk in there. This has caught me by surprise- smells along the lines of a oude bruin or a traditional lambic. Not picking up a whole lot of bourbon, but definitely getting the oak.

T: tart cherries up front, a bit puckering on the palate, picking up some bourbon character- mch more on the palate than on the nose... lends hints of vanilla that blend seamlessly with the oak character. The bourbon becomes more pronounced on the finish, especially as it warms up. This beer is super complex as new flavors show up with each sip.

MF: a bit prickly, high carbonation, a bit of heat on the end

D: Well its unfortunate that there was no Smokestack series while I lived in MO because I drank my fair share of Boulevard products... it seems that Boulevard has reinvented themselves a bit and have shown that they have the ability to make some complex big beers with the best of them.

 1,085 characters

Photo of brownbeer
4.67/5  rDev +10.9%
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 Wisconsinality
3.82/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle split with Beerwolf77, thanks again. Bottle #444.

A- Pours a dark hazy amber with a fluffy, bubbly finger and a half worth of head. Spotty lacing is left and a small thin cap is left on the beer.

S- Dark cherries and some other dark fruits. A little malt and some brown sugar as well. The bourbon is fairly well subdued.

T- Dark sour cherries, a nice hint of oak and the bourbon comes in and mellows it all out. The alcohol isn't even noticeable.

M- Medium bodied but a little on the thinner side for a quad. A good crisp carbonation. The finish is a touch dry from the oak.

D- Sweet but not cloyingly so. The bourbon really adds a nice something extra to the quad. The ABV isn't even noticeable. I am glad I was able to try this. Looking forward to other beers from the Smokestack series.

 802 characters

Photo of beerwolf77
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes to exiled for this one. Bottle #444 split and poured into my chimay goblet the beer is a muddy orange brown. About a finger of beige head leaves a decent lace ring. Good retention.

The aroma is sweet candied fruit with hints of yeast, tart cherries and mild bourbon. Just a tiny bit of oak can be picked out. The high ABV is hidden rather well.

The flavor is a bone dry tart blast of tart cherries and other dark fruits. The bourbon is quite subtle. The balance between the quad and bourbon is rather impressive. Mild spice and yeast come through in the finish.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Quite dry.

Overall well balanced for what it is. I would have thought this would be a beer that would hit you over the head with all sorts of complexities. It was actually straight forward and mellow.

 818 characters

Photo of htomsirveaux
4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle tried 7 Jan 2010. # 2311/11348.

Served in a 0.4 L Kur Pils snifter after an epic struggle to remove the cork, needed a pair of vice grips to pry it out. Medium fizzy peachy tan head. Clear dark auburn color. Medium carbonation. Smells fruity and cherryish, almost like cough syrup, ethanol, some buttery vanilla toffee. Starts fruity and juicy, like a Luden's cough lozenge. Just a hint of green banana. Sweet throughout. Buttery vanilla finish and aftertaste. Alcohol warming in the finish as well. Medium to light body.

Nice example of the style.

 564 characters

Photo of KeefD
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy amber brown color with a large khaki colored head that fell slowly, light lacing on the tulip, good retention. Aroma has typical quad characteristics: yeasty, bready, some underlying booze, but with a nice addition of subtle cherries, and maybe just a hint of barrel qualities. Not getting much in the way of bourbon however. Great flavor on this one! Cherries are much more prominent than the nose would suggest, and they're somewhat sweet but not tart. This character blends nicely with the malty, bready deliciousness of the base quad. Some light bourbon flavors start to come out as it warms up which gives this a nice complexity. Full bodied, carbonation is actually lighter than what I was expecting. Good beer here, and pretty drinkable despite the high ABV. Dig it.

 778 characters

Photo of craytonic
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pour is a cloudy, rusty cherry brown amber, with a nice ivory head, great lacing.

Smell: Delicious, bourbon and malts, brown sugar, sweet (not blackstrap) molasses, oak, caramel, leather, and vanilla.

Taste: The bourbon really is an equal player here that compliments the quad, it does not dominate. Dark fruits like plums, dates, and raisins. Very mellow, old whiskey, not harsh and fresh moonshine. Also brown sugar, sweet molasses, oak, caramel, leather, toffee, and vanilla. Like a rich fruity bread, but not quite a fruitcake.

Mouthfeel: Rich and decadent

Drinkability: First batch was amazing, subsequent batches have not been so good. I have lowered my score from 4.83 as a result.

 705 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.63/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Long time want cracked recently with a friend from his cellar, thanks Matt.

Beer poured into a snifter. Beer is brown with a slight haze. Forms a head of white, tiny bubbles that quickly breaks.

The aroma is odd....not what I expected...its kind of sour / vinegary....I was expecting a bourbon / quad aroma, like the sixth glass...not so much. I'm definitely curious.

I think this beer may have continued developing. I'm not getting much wood or bourbon, I am getting some acetic based sourness, pediococcos kind of activity in there. Beer is medium bodied but not at all what I expected.

 591 characters

Photo of tronester
3.72/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear reddish brown with a huge tan head. Smells very strongly of sour cherries, vanilla, and scotch whisky. Taste is sweet oak, vanilla, and cherries up front, which fades to a slightly tart and sour cherry middle, and a earthy malty finish. Quite a bit of alcohol burn at the end. Mouthfeel is very rich, slightly high carbonation. Drinkability is average, this beer is extremely boozy, and really a 5-6oz serving is ideal IMO. I like the flavor, but it does get overpowering fast. Best to be split amongst several people IMO. I would get this again, however.

 569 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.59/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to both Alicia and Paul for sending me bottles of this recently.

A: The pour is a moderate amber color with a massive off-white head and some sticky lacing.

S: The amount of alcohol in the nose is rather disappointing. The booze is not necessarily bourbony like you might expect from other bourbon barrel aged beers, but very ethanol like. It really dominates the aromas and prevents the usual quad character from coming through.

T: Luckily the flavor is an improvement over the aromas. A strong dark candi sugar flavor along with dark fruits such as figs, plums, and perhaps raisins. A mild oak (vanilla) and still an alcohol presence, along with a touch of chocolate and caramel.

M: Medium to full bodied with a very plentiful and creamy carbonation and a bit of heat.

D: Not my favorite beer from Boulevard, but some good flavors. I am curious to see how the other bottle I have matures, as I think there is a good beer here, just not exactly what I like in this case.

 983 characters

Photo of Oxymoron
4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Who's in for a BBQ? Pours a mostly cloudy brown color with darker chocolate undertones throughout. A pillowy thick head that reminds me of a tradional Belgian beers. Took a while to settle but did not retain much foam and limited lacing after the initial pour.

The nose is rich with malt and esters. To start there is a nice malty backing with some bigger caramel and melanodian notes coming out. Some hints of chocolate and a caramunich sort of thing. The bourbon is very distinguishable but blended nicely with the beer. Some stronger esters, plums, figs and a few fruity tropical notes. A light grape/winey and a light mango but richer. Some minor cherry and feint citrus. Some minor yeast but mostly clean.

The taste is similar. The malt brings out a very complex flavor, similar to a barleywine. The caramel and melanodian character helps that along. Almost toffee in a way. Some minor chocolate notes in the finish with a almost lactic/oatmeal thing. This could be enhanced by the light bourbon notes. The boubon itself is subtle. Detectable but is soft compared to the nose. Some lighter vanilla notes but no really woody notes. The esters back off versus the nose. Some plums, figs and a light cherry. Some noticeable yeasty notes on the back end that is a bit of a deterrent. Very tasty though.

The body is big with a sweet finish. Would like to see a quad a bit drier. I think that this is also what makes it taste/feel like a barleywine. Some heat from the beer, but not over the top. Carbonation is light to none. Overall a very tasty beer.

 1,555 characters

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into The Bruery tulip.

Pours rich, vibrant deep ruby, with a full 3-finger dense head that takes almost the entire glass to settle into a 1-finger cap. Nice sheet lacing grips the sides of the glass as the nectar recedes.

Nose is full of sour cherries and dry oak, tending towards nutty rich caramel as it warms, with a light but clear whiskey presence lending some beautiful complexity. Very enticing; not what I expected really, but very rewarding.

Taste is just layer upon layer of flavor; big-time tart cherries and even plums up front, followed by dry oak, sticky brown sugar, light bourbon lending an earthy alcohol bite. Bit boozey. Exhale carries very light brown sugar notes alongside the oaky bourbon.

Mouthfeel is a bit sticky, coarse but sparse carbonation. Nice burn on the back of the throat and all the way down.

Drinkability isn't bad, but this is the one area where this doesn't stand with the best quads - the booziness, the high heat, and the mouthfeel all fall short of the benchmarks of the style. Delicious, but huge; one to be drunk almost like a nice whiskey rather than a beer.

 1,119 characters

Photo of generalnotsew
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Big fluffy copper head that fills half the glass. Dark, rich golden brown head that basically sticks to the sides of the glass.

S: Sweet vanilla with sticky earthy fig notes. Bourbon not at all overpowering and quite subtle. May change as it warms.

T: Sharp biting cherry with a lot of tartness. Hard and sweet bourbon that actually reminds me more of TN whiskey. A bit of molasses and vanilla.

M: Not as crazy about this. Kind of harsh IMO. Probably smoother after some heat on it. And very warming on the throat

D: As always with me I like the bourbon barrel aged beers but can't really drink many and a tad hard to get thru them.

 639 characters

Photo of bonkers
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I split a 25 ounce bottle amongst friends, pouring inot smalll tumblers. It pours a caramel red with an abundant white head, bits of lacing scattered on the glass. Bourbon soaked fruit ruled the nose, along with oak and vanilla. Up front a subtle amount of bourbon with date and plum notes. The oak in this is real strong flavor thoughout. BBQ is medium in body with high carbonation and sticky mouth feel. Thanks to Dunt for this bottle.

 438 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a deep ruby red color that is perfectly hazed and even. The head is bubbly on top but tight and creamy underneath. It is off white and lingers for a little. The lace is thin but there is a darn good bit of it.

S-the nose is fair in strength and brings a strong tartness right up front. A good bit of oak comes in next with a touch of vanilla. Cherries lightly touched with bourbon really flood the nose in the back with just a touch more tartness. Hints of raisin and plum in the very back all with touches of bourbon and booze.

T-very nice touch of the bourbon barrel aging. Oak hits you right up front with nice notes of vanilla. Hints of chocolate lie underneath all of the oak. Tart cherries come in strong with notes of raisin and fig. Hints of bourbon lie underneath and seem to play a small role but accompanies everything very well.

M-this is full to medium body, slightly syrupy but so smooth and creamy it works in a very nice way. The carbonation is awesome, not making it rough at all but still giving it a good crisp and clean finish. Could use a bit more carbonation, but I like the side they missed on rather than having too much.

D-this is extremely delicious and the way they aged it to put in a great amount of oaky vanilla and light notes of bourbon. I love when the bourbon is there but just as a role player rather than a centerpiece of the offense. The cherries are great and some other light dark fruits come in to play as well. fantastic smoothness and complexity, awesome beer!

 1,515 characters

Photo of muttyd
3.6/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark brown, almost black, with a thick tan head. Some floaters.

S - Bourbon with hints of sourness. Roasted malts / bready malt aroma also present, but masked by the overwhelming bourbon aroma.

T - Malty sweetness up front with loads of bourbon. Plums/dark fruits/cherries on the tongue. Usual belgian quad yeast/funk. Finishes with a strong sweet cherry flavor and a strong astringency.

M - Creamy and very sticky. Moderate carbonation with (again) medium astringency.

D - A 25 oz. bottle may be a bit much for one, but if consumed over a couple of hours, its not that overwhelming.

 592 characters

Photo of joepais
4.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks to Bill Scoobydank for making this want happen in his honor I split this one amongst some friends.

I poured this one into snifters and it produced a slight white head that dissipated quickly the body of the brew was a nice looking amber to almost burgundy red in color.

The aromma of tart cherries and dark fruits were right up front in this bad boy. The barrel ageing was also present I will say this had a great nose on it, and I gladly kept mine in the glass savoring the aromas.

The flavors were just as nice the tart cherries and barrel adding a dimension to the brew that make this Quad a treat to experience. It was well balanced so every sip was a bit different sometimes It was a little sweet then the cherries picked up the sour. I liked it. The only flaw I see with this brew is it it a tad thin for me I wanted a little more in the mouthfeel something a bit heaver. The carbonation was great but the body need more.

A great brew, I don't think I have had one I didn't like from these guys. I will try to get another of these soon. This brew was the highlight of a small sampling of some awesome beers, So I say go for it if you can get it.

 1,169 characters

Photo of Deuane
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to akorsak for sharing a bottle of this burly beast!

A-Deep copper with a medium tan head that reduced to a thin cap and left spotty lace.

S-Initial sweetness followed by bourbon notes, rich malt, light alcohol burn and a hint of cherry in the background.

T-Impressive Bourbon notes up front without being too hot. Underlying malt sweetness accented by vanilla and a touch of cherry. Finishes dry. Very tasty,

M-Medium body very smooth with a succulent sweetness that doesn't overwhelm. Good lingering bourbon notes.

D-You best enjoy Bourbon to like this one! Good thing I do....a very well crafted and totally enjoyable creation!

 642 characters

Photo of Soilworker
4.02/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice red amber color when held up to the light. The head is an off-white which dissapates quite quickly.

S: Tart, sour cherry overtones accompanied by a slight vinegar-like astringency, pleasant Belgian yeast notes, and a hint of smokey woodiness.

T: Very complex and you can definitely taste the bourbon woodiness right up front. There a light tart cherry taste that accompanies this but this fades back to the bourbon/whiskey flavors with some sweetness lingering on the tongue. I'm sure there is some yeast flavor but the whiskey flavors seemed a bit overpowering to me...then again that was the intent.

M: Much more carbonated than I would have expected and there it leaves the mouth feeling slightly dry afterwards.

D: This a very complex and interesting beer but the bourbon profile is a little too powerful to promote any long lasting drinking with this beer. That being said, I fully attend on finishing this bottle.

 931 characters

Photo of dougfir
4.73/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is honestly the best beer I've had in a long time. I'm a big fan of Belgian types beers, the more sour or funky, the better. This beer really hit my sweet spot (or should I say sour spot). Starts nice and soury with a good upfront carbonation, quickly mellowing to a bourbon/whisky cherry vanilla finish.
I could go into details about the the mouthfeel, finish and all that, but being that I just finished the 750ml bottle of this, you'll understand. This is an absolutely excellent beer. By all means try it if you get the chance!

 537 characters

Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.55/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is the first bourbon barrel beer that tasted almost exactly like whiskey. It's an interesting mix of liquor and carbonation. I have to say I'm no fan of whiskey, but this beer I can actually tolerate. It's light liquor aroma and heavy-medium flavor make for an entertaining beverage.

 288 characters

Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ) from Boulevard Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 621 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.