My dad and sister are staying with us for a few days over this Thanksgiving break and with dinner tonight, we decided to crack open a few beers from the beer fridge. My sister has come around to craft beer over the last few years, and her style of preference is Belgian quad. Therefore, I decided to crack open this 2015 bourbon barrel quad from Boulevard that’s been in the beer fridge for a few years – although I figured that with it being such a big beer, it should age just fine.
Location: Poured into a TEKU pint glass from the 750ml bottle at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 11.8% ABV, ~360 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s dark brick red in color and is very clear. It has a very thick tan head on it that feel after a few minutes. The aroma is woody with dark fruits and cherries, and a bit of cardboard-like oxygenation.
Taste & Feel: The body is full and the mouthfeel is smooth and lightly creamy. Up front, it has a spicy Belgian-like character with some dark fruit-like maltiness. In the middle, it has a dark fruit maltiness with a bit of earthy bitterness and hints of cardboard-like oxidation. The dark cherry flavor comes out in the finish with some woody and malty character behind it with hints of cardboard-like oxidation. The aftertaste is the malty dark cherry and light woody bourbon flavors.
Food Pairing: With the dark fruit maltiness, it would definitely complement BBQ, but could also be nice with some chili or other hearty dish.
Overall Impression: In all fairness to this beer, the freshness date on the bottle is 9/17, so the oxidized flavors are my fault. Overall, it was a pretty good beer with some complex flavors. I thought the bourbon barrel added more of a woody character than bourbon. I enjoyed the complexity, so I’ll try to find this beer and have one that’s fresher.