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Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ) | Boulevard Brewing Co.

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632 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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 632 | Ratings: 2,232
Photo of GStone899
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Distinct bourbon smell that isn't overpowering. The smell of cherries really compliments the bourbon. Every bourbon beer I've had thus far has been bad (central waters really stands out to me. Some French name that was basically pure bourbon and undrinkable) but this one surprised me. Color is red amber and as the beer settles you see a bit of the cherries (I'm guessing). Mild bourbon taste with a slight undertone of cherries. Vanilla and oak flavor cone thru as well? What does this mean? Smooth finish that doesn't overpower the pallet. 12% alcohol gives this a good kick without tasting like u drank wild turkey straight.

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Photo of Jimlikesbeer
4.39/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I like this beer. The bourbon flavor is not overpowering. I like that cause I don't really care for Bourbon (anymore). I don't taste the cherries, but the vanilla comes through as does the oak smokey barrel taste. Very easy to drink.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Price Paid : FREE (Girlfriend brought it home)

It pops nicely and pours a butterscotch color, 100% opaque and full of fuzziness. The head is large and 3 fingers.

Smells of cherries, peaches, alcohol, fig, and oak. Slight Bourbon aroma.

Taste is full of alcohol warmth and fig, fried bananas, butterscotch, toffee, and antiseptic.

Feel is warm, burning, carbonated, and ends dry.

Overall it's a knock out quad. I'd have it again.

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Photo of beergoot
3.34/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

2015 Version

Dark, copper hued body; thick, sticky, chunky head. Malty nose with some dark fruit qualities; raisins; mild spiciness. Boozy flavor atop a fair malt sweetness; dominant phenol presence; caramel and mildly charred sugar. Heavy body; fairly thick and chewy; warm; strong alcohol heat.

The boozy heat overwhelms an otherwise decent heavy malt base. One is left with feelings of harshness that the under-performing sugary sweetness just can't compensate for. Rather disjointed and lacking in refinement.

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Photo of bobhits
2.9/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

2015 variety.

The pour yield a fizzy, what I normally expect from a sour, head. It seems to last and has some retention and lacing, but in a quad it seems really out of place. Nearly to the point I'm questioning what I'm about to drink.

I really cannot smell much of anything. I get this fruity ester that I have gotten in Boulevard's other smokestack series beers, but with nearly nothing behind it. I think there's some chocolate and bourbon or something like that but I honestly cannot get through the esters.

The beer has a lot of rich flavors and character. Bourbon certainly, chocolate, vanilla, Belgian fruits, rum, grapes, plums. I think there's some good stuff going on, however the mouth feel.

The mouth feel is over the top overly carbonated and thin as heck. It completely ruins the beer.

I'm not sure if I'm just the only guy not a fan or what, but the way the smokestack series is carbonated ruins what I think are otherwise decent beers. I'm sorry but they've either changed up the beer, people had older bottles, or I'm just alone in hating the way this drinks. A real shame because I think the flavors in this one are decent.

Quick edit, but if you swirl the glass for 2-3 minutes and get the carbonation out, it really does improve the beer. As this is likely not how it was intended to be, I won't amend the scores, but it makes a world of difference. The aroma and flavors are much more pronounced and the beer is now much more drinkable. Still a bit thin while being rather boozy so take that as you will.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.74/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

BBQ pours a dark brownish reddish color with a small lacing head. Big bold oak aromas with big hints of tart cherries. Taste is smooth, oakey, spicy, tart cherry flavors, and a warm alcohol ending flavor. Great body, everything blends well. Overall its fanatic, noticeable terry, warm vanilla; everything comes together perfectly.

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Photo of bonesTdog
4.41/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beauty in this beer is in its subtlety. It has a wonderful complexity of flavors with none overpowering the others. Nothing jumps out and says BAM. Light bourbon, light vanilla, light yeast, light alcohol (12%!) with a barely noticeable hint of cherry. All with a velvety solid mouthfeel, not too thin. The medium carbonation is a bit high for my preference but still ok. I typically like bigger beers that are more over the top, but this quad impressed me more and more with every sip.

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Photo of snippydippy
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Being a Kansas City local, this is probably my favorite of the Smokestack Series that I have tried. I would also rate it higher than other Bourbon blends (i.e. Stone). It mixes nice without the synthetic flavors that I sometimes get with others. Has about two fingers think of topping. Color a nice reddish tent. Overall, I plan on picking up a few more of these before they are out of supply.

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Photo of Best_Enjoyed_In_Texas
3.4/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Overall, pretty let down by this. Very little bourbon taste nor as much quad. The cherry taste is subtle. I was really excited to try this, but kind of let down.

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Photo of LloydDobler
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hearty, ruddy ruby color. The head is light beige and 2" thick, but sizzles to a thin film quickly. The first thing I can smell here is rye and wood. It is abundant. Maybe the addition of cherries is throwing my nose off a bit, but the sweet fruit presence smells almost like a jar of syrupy, cocktail cherries. The mix of that and whiskey has me thinking of a Rob Roy. It makes me want to dive right in! Not as sweet as I was expecting. Actually, it's mild in all aspects. Not what I was anticipating at all. The alcohol finish is nice, smooth, and warming. This pretty much made me feel like I was drinking the last half of a glass of good bourbon that was accidentally served over ice. Pretty thin. This wasn't what I was expecting, nor was it what I wanted, but I DID really enjoy this.

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

Overwhelmed by the complexity and thorough enjoyability of this brew. Barrel aging adds all the right notes, lots of woody and smoky notes, yet still unbelievably silky smooth.. Near perfect quad....no wonder Duvel bought them out

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Photo of BWood
3.26/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Not as much bourbon as I would want nor as much quad. FW stickee monkey blows this away by so far its not on the same planet. Kind of let me down here .

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Photo of infinitebruner
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 Vintage

July 15, 2015

750 ml, snifter

A – Dark, dark amber, with tones of brown, creating a rich, light mahogany liquid, not very clear but not due to sediment. An inch of light, caramel-colored foam, with moderate-long retention. Pours somewhat thick, appears very sudsy. A beautiful beer.

S – Rich caramel, fruity toffee, and strong vanilla, with light oakiness. Fruit is dark, black cherry or plums, and only moderate-light on the aroma. Bourbon is very present, warm but not aggressive. No hop aroma.

T – Vanilla and oak are massive, along with warm, smooth, aged bourbon. Cherry fruit is moderate but very noticeable. Light chocolate and caramel impressions. Again, no hop presence.

M – Full to medium-full in body, with high, very sudsy, carbonation. Some warmth from the bourbon, pleasant. A lot of sweetness but not cloying, mostly due to contribution of bitterness by the hops, their only contribution, which strengthens towards the finish. Pretty dry throughout, with a low bitter aftertaste. Notable that when fresh, this beer can seem aggressively sugary, but with a few months in the bottle it has mellowed out tremendously.

O – This was one of my introductions to strong dark Belgian-style ales, and one of my favorites for a long time, so it keeps a high spot on my list. Excellent, though I wish it retained more of the cherry character from its aging/maturation.

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Photo of CTbrew32
4.51/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Mahogany red in color and very cloudy. Pours a tan three finger tall head.

Aroma- Chocolate, dark fruits, mild cherry, and a touch a bourbon booze.

Taste- Dark fruit sweetness and at first followed by a big burst of cherry flavor. Chocolate is mild but noticeable as well as the bourbon which adds a underlying sweetness/mild booziness. Very well balanced, alcohol presence is low, and barrel characteristics are mild.

Feel- Full bodied, medium/high carbonation, and incredibly smooth and clean in the finish. Very little residual malt in the finish.

Overall- World class quad that gets a a little boost from the bourbon barrel. The barrel adds bourbon sweetness and vanilla flavors, but little to no heat. Quad characteristics contain the typical dark fruit and mild chocolate flavors. Everything about this beer is great from the aroma to the feel. Definitely not a beer that showcases the barrel, but rather uses it to add complimentary flavors to a great base quad.

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4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

After a fight with the cork I finally got this one open. A fog follows the cork out of the bottle. You get plenty of carbonation with this one as a soft pour gets nearly four fingers of rocky doughy tan head. Body is a deep, murky brownish burgundy in tone. Lots of scattered lace is left behind from the head. Nose is decisively yeasty with some soft tart cherry notes and noticeably raw woodsy oak tone also. With first sip the excitement really hits the tongue. Super complex layers of dry bourbon with rye mash notes are accompanied by soft cherry tones that bring about wine like tannins. Woodsy oak and caramelized malts bring about just the right amount of balance. The Belgium yeast lingers in the back ground leaving the tongue tingling producing a very unique mouthfeel. At nearly 12% the alcohol never comes off as heavy, which is quite a feat. It would be very interesting to see what this one does with some age. A real joy to drink.

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Photo of tkdchampxi
2.95/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is not a Quad. It tastes like champagne mixed with bourbon, or just a bad whiskey soda. There is just the subtlest hint of cherries. Maybe it's because my bottle was a bit over a year old? I don't know, but this is on my do not drink again list. Wish I hadn't bought two.

T: Where is the Belgian yeast character or the flavors and aromas of dark fruit? I get nothing but the lightest hint of cherry, completely overshadowed by whiskey/ bourbon.

F: And as for mouthfeel, this is not smooth and rich - it is effervescent and carbonated like champagne.

Smell and Look: Mostly looks fine, but smells kinda like it tastes.

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Photo of n2185
3.86/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2013 bottle:

A: Pours a clear copper with two fingers of cream-colored head that fades into a frothy ring with little lacing.

S: Tart cherries , Belgian spices, and candy sugar up front with vanilla, oak, and sweet bourbon following.

T: Belgian spices, candy sugar, and yeast flavors up front with oak and a bit of bourbon following. There is light aftertaste of cherries. The finish is moderately boozy.

O: An enjoyable beer, overall, and better with age. Still a bit too boozy and I'd like a bit more from the barrel, but enjoyable.

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Photo of brianmandell
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2014 bottle. Caramel in color with tan head. Nose of caramel and dark fruit like cherry and plum with a sweet candy jam presence. The base beer - sixth glass is very present. It's a solid but simple quad with minimal yeast flavors. The barrel aging adds great caramel, vanilla and oak flavors. The finish is boozy but well integrated. The cherries may actually take away from the beer - they are a bit artificial in flavor with a jolly rancher like quality. The beer is medium bodied but full from the active carbonation. Overall this is a very good beer but not a huge fan of the cherry flavors.

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Photo of BenwayPHD
4.69/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a reddish purple with three fingers of thick, foamy head. The nose is quite nice. Perfume booze upfront followed by toffee, vanilla, caramel, hard candy, there is a nice tartness in the background. The flavor is heavy on the sweetness. The caramel is quite present. The booze flavor lingers. It has a very nice, thick mouthfeel. This is a really good beer.

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Photo of timontheroad
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark reddish amber color, almost opaque. One finger head, faded to a thin film, but laced nicely. The smell was great, dark cherries, a little caramel and vanilla and some sweet candy sugar and a slight hint of bourbon. The taste was very much dark fruit, with the bourbon really becoming more prominent in the taste. The mouthfeel was medium bodied, with a nice carbonation bite, along with a little burn from the alcohol. Overall, I loves me some Sixth Glass, this really took it up a notch.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.06/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Haw River Farmhouse Ales teku glass. Best by Date: 08-2016

A- Pours a hazy reddish medium brown color with a 1/4 inch light tan head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam. Minimal non-resilient lacing.

S- Straightforward quad aroma with some Belgian candi sugar and booze.

T- The quad characteristics come through nicely first and then the barrel comes in and adds a layer of complexity that the base beer desperately needed in my opinion. Some peppery esters, toasty malt and sweet aftertaste. Booze is decently hidden.

M- Somewhat slick with medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- I like this much better than regular Sixth Glass. The booziness works in the context of the bourbon barrel while Sixth Glass is unreasonably boozy. A great treatment to a not-so-great beer.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Coffee brown pour with a healthy 2 finger light beach=sand capping. Good rise of carbonation, strong rate of retention, with a high lace coverage covering the vessel on the way down with a spongy film coating.

S: Aroma was smooth bourbon, light vanilla caramel. Abv was very well hidden.

T: Strong bourbon notes, smooth scotchy peat caramelized malt and oakiness. Dark fruit of fresh plums, syrupy raisins, cherries and smooth scotchy malt. Light mention of sugary apple pie filling.

M: Syrupy thick, very light carbonation.

O: Overall the alcohol is very well mannered, the bourbon definitely shines here, but is very smooth and polished, even at 11.8% drinking more like an 8.0% at best. Slight glow from the bourbon on the inner cheeks, lightly sweet vanilla-caramel hints, highly polished drinkability. Very good overall.

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Photo of AJacob81
4.29/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Subtle for a bourbon barreled brew, but pleasantly so. The nose is cherry and char, with vanilla and a hint of cocoa powder. The flavor has the dark fruits expected from a quad, but hints of whiskey provide balance. Feel is silky smooth, but healthy carbonation, especially for a beer from 2014. This is craft beer with a heavy emphasis on craft, and could be rated even higher than I've put it. Will never get the attention that the KBS and BCBS type of beers get, but a prime example of restraint paying dividends.

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Photo of ajm5108
4.44/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lots of easy oak / vanilla booze aroma, but the flavor is not hot or overdone. The bourbon flavor is mixed very well and subdued, with lots of tart cherry and warm vanilla taking hold. It doesn't finish boozey like a lot of bourbon aged beers, either. The balance and blending of the flavor is incredibly impressive. You get to taste the scotch flavors but they play off of the traditional quad flavors very well. More brewers should try aging quads in bourbon barrels instead of throwing every stout they can think of in them. The natural flavors mix wonderfully, and Boulevard has done a fantastic job with this one.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.26/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For me, this one lives up to the hype. Bourbon, oak, vanilla, cherries and dark fruits all blend together in a wonderful harmony. Sweet, but the sweetness is cut by the booze. Great stuff.

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Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ) from Boulevard Brewing Co.
4.22 out of 5 based on 2,232 ratings.
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