Tuesday, September 28, 2010

OMFG - Beer Review Series - Founders Backwoods Bastard

Founders Backwoods Bastard: a Scotch Ale in Bourbon barrels! I saved this bad boy for an entire year and popped it open with one of my boys. I remember it fondly and at the time I didn’t take notes but traditionally, Scotch Ales pour a deep copper. ‘Compared to Scottish Ales, they'll be sweeter and fuller-bodied, and of course higher in alcohol, with a much more pronounced malty caramel and roasted malt flavor.’

This bad boy falls into the “extreme” beer category.  Per www.beeradvocate.com
What are we talking about? 
- Beers made with no hops but plenty of heather and lavender. 
- Beers aged in Jack Daniels oak barrels with an alcohol by volume of 20 percent or more. 
- Traditional beer styles, but with double, triple or more hops or malt. 
- Beers brewed with chocolate, peanut butter or espresso beans. 
- Strong Porters brewed with Chinese candied ginger. 
- Ales brewed with oysters or seaweed. 
- Sharp tasting beers inoculated with various wild bacteria and yeast strains.

Much of what I drink falls into this category but bourbon aged is its own animal in my opinion. I will get right into the tasting. The beer pours a dirty dark black with red highlights when held to the light. You cannot see through this bad boy.  The head is thick but quickly retreats to a thin tan mist across the glass. 

Smell is wood/oak and bourbon!  Really, it’s one note; not much complexity in smell but not overpowering. Why wait and smell when you can gulp it down. At 10.5 ABV it’s smooth and thick with some bold carbonation. Fear not friends: Backwoods Bastard is still amazing after 10 months.  It has some wild bourbon flavor followed by silky vanilla. Then flavors of caramel/toffee become more pronounced. Lastly coconut, yes, this is what I taste! Coconut rounds out the profile and seems to mellow out the alcohol burn.

What can I say? Backwoods should be available in November and its outstanding! I beg you to go out and experience this beer. It is a one off amazing beer that needs to be taken in small doses.  It is a one off amazing beer that needs to be taken in large doses.



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