Barrel-aged beers are one of my favorite styles of craft beer. Since most are stouts, I’m always on the hunt for different styles that are barrel-aged. Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad is definitely something different and is the focus for this week’s Craft Beer Spotlight.
Boulevard Brewing distributes their beer to a majority of the USA so many of you will be familiar with this brewery. They have a wide product offering including many barrel-aged beers.
Let’s take a look at their Bourbon Barrel Quad.
Review Of Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad
With thousands of options, it can be really difficult to decide which beer to buy. This was evident when I was at Jungle Jim’s (quite possibly the best store ever) and my father-in-law asked for advice picking out a barrel-aged beer.
Jungle Jim’s has one of the most impressive craft beer selections that you’ll find anywhere so I was confident I could find some great options.
After a few minutes, I had made a handful of suggestions and he picked the Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad. What was even better is he was kind enough to let me have one of the bottles so I could try it as well.
It comes in a four pack of 12oz bottles for around $15. Which is a good price for a barrel-aged beer.
This Quad is part of their Smokestack Series which are big, bold, complex beers that normally have a high ABV. Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad has an ABV of 11.2% and 26 IBUs.
Here is how Boulevard Brewing describes their Bourbon Barrel Quad:
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.
This Quad pours a pleasant deep amber-reddish color. It has a high gloss to the color that really shows off the red highlights of this beer when held up to light.
The nose is sweet and boozy. The aroma reminds me more of a bourbon cocktail than beer.
The first sip is a big hit of bourbon. There is no denying that this beer has been in a bourbon barrel.
Despite being boozy, it’s still remarkably smooth. I think that is testament to the aging and blending process that this beer went through.
Once I became adjusted to the bourbon, I got amazing notes of cherry and vanilla. The base beer stays in the background but it’s always there providing the foundation.
As the beer warms, I got more and more of the sweet malty, toffee flavors that are common in a Quad.
Since it changes as it warms, you’ll want to drink it slow to get the most enjoyment from it.
While it remains very sweet throughout, I never thought it was over the top. But instead, the big flavors had balance to them.
This is an ideal craft beer for someone that loves barrel-aged beers but wants something other than a stout. It’s also a great choice for anyone loves sweet bourbon cocktails.
In addition, I really appreciate the back label of Boulevard’s beers. They list a quick snapshot of what to expect. It’s simple, clear and helpful.
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I’ve had lots of people ask for beer recommendations. I’m always a little nervous to give a suggestion becausethere are just so many great beers to choose from. And on top of that, I don’t know everyone’s palate.
But it’s a ton of fun when it works out and that was the case in this situation.
We went in looking for a great barrel-aged beer and that’s exactly what we got. I’d highly recommend giving this one a try.