Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Boulevard Brewing Company - Bourbon Barrel Quad

Now that the dust has (at least somewhat) cleared from the mayhem that is San Diego Beer Week, it's time to get back to the serious business that is beer reviewing. Through a few amazingly generous trades/gifts/chance acquisitions, I've been able to acquire some beers in the last few weeks that I only dreamed I would one day possess. So I've got a big few weeks of tasting ahead to get over the disappointment I always feel when beer week ends. But before we get to those, let's take a look at a beer I've been wanting to try for a while- Boulevard's Bourbon Barrel Quad.

I had been hearing about Bourbon Barrel Quad for years; long before I knew anything about Boulevard Brewing Company itself. Bourbon Barrel Quad is a (wait for it...) bourbon barrel aged Belgian Quadrupel that is aged on cherries. It also may have the best acronym (BBQ) in the world of beer. I've been seeing it pop up on trade forums, online beer sites, ebay...pretty much everywhere but on the shelves of California for a long time. But with Boulevard's expansion in the past year or so, some more of their limited release beers have been showing up. Including BBQ. Let's check this one out.

Bourbon Barrel Quad pours a hazed caramel color with a pretty substantial cream-colored head. The smell had some great quad characteristics, with some banana, clove, molasses, cinnamon and brown sugar at the forefront. I picked up some rye malt, just a touch of booze and some spicy oak as well.

Brown sugar and candi sugar are the first things that pop up, flavor-wise, along with some soft nutty malt flavors. The finish brings some lightly spiced oak notes with a touch of vanilla and some booze. The finish was a touch weak for me. It kind of just died mid-palate. I really did enjoy the flavors in this one, but I wish they would have lasted just a touch longer. The name's promise of bourbon also left me a bit underwhelmed as I got some barrel notes, just no bourbon. I tried this beer fresh, but I have a strange feeling that if you aged this for a couple years, it would be money. I may just have to try that.

Final Grade: B

Top 250 Beers Tasted: 130

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