Friday, January 8, 2010

Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad

Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad
Style: Quadrupel (11.8% ABV)
Serving Type: Bottle
Purchased at 99 Bottles
Read more about Boulevard Brewing Co on Beer Advocate.

Bottle 5903 of 11248

Aroma: First aroma is reminiscent of some sours I've had suggesting this beer has been fermented with Brettanomyces. Though I don’t believe it has been. Other aromas of oak spice and hay-like or grassy notes following it up. You can pick up on subtle cherry notes as well along with a hint of smoke.

Appearance: A hazy ruby red, like the sun setting on a smoky sky. The color is moving toward brown but isn't quite there. Full off white head with a billowy appearance. The head holds very full throughout with some lacing as the beer goes down.

Flavor: Sweet candy like flavors of caramelized but sour apples. The malt complexity is rich with a blend of fruity esters being given off by the yeast, but along with that the wood definitely comes into play with a smoked quality. I don't pick up a whole lot of bourbon. Cherry flavors are certainly present and give the beer a very subtle sour or wild ale characteristic. It leaves me wanting just a bit more sour. Definitely a smokey quality to the flavor.

Mouthfeel. Medium to full body with a soft bread quality being given off by the yeast presence. Carbonation is high, which sent the cork well across the room, and tingled on the lips and tongue. An alcoholic warming presence comes through in the finish.

Overall. A very pleasing and nicely balanced ale. The blend of wood aged and cherry notes really give this beer a nice complexity without being overbearing. The malt complexity in the flavor seems to develop as you sip and probably goes well beyond my own description. I really enjoy the hint of sour in this beer and I wonder perhaps if brettanomyces has been used somewhere in the process. Though I suspect it's really from the barrel aging. Brett would be a welcome addition to this series however. The qualities of bourbon really don’t come out in this beer very well. Considering the name, I was expected a lot more.

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Beer enthusiast and advocate. Recognized beer judge and traveler of west coast beer destinations.