Founders Backwoods Bastard
Founders Brewing Company, Grand Rapids – MI
Information: Site – “Expect lovely, warm smells of single malt scotch, oaky bourbon barrels, smoke, sweet caramel and roasted malts, a bit of earthy spice, and a scintilla of dark fruit. It’s a kick-back sipper made to excite the palate.“
Have I mentioned before just how lucky I am -as a Michigan native and current resident- to have so many amazing beer breweries? I have? Well, you’re gonna hear about it again. I’m lucky. ‘Nuff said.
So Founders, much like many, many of its brewery brethren, has issued limited edition small-batch beers. And all was well with the world. But why do this, you ask? Is this just an excuse to jack up prices on these specialty beers thereby forcing us, as consumers, to shell out so very much for only a 4-pack? Nah, I don’t see it. Sure, you have to hand out a few more ducats for a far better beer, but if you aren’t a beer lover (one who loves beer for what it is, rather than for how much it takes to mess you up) in the first place, it shouldn’t matter. If you’re not, yo know where the Steel Reserve is. Luddite.
Backwoods Bastard has a lovely, deep amber pour with a slight crown that fades into a white halo in a wink. The nose is malty, like waffle malty, ans there’s a roasted nuttiness that rounds it out giving it almost a breakfast roll aroma. Nice. But hiding just beneath is the oaky caramel so very reminiscent of Bourbon and the barrels in which it’s aged. Pretty sneaky.
The taste hides nothing. Do yourself a favor and drink with your nose as well as your mouth. Your taste buds are far more active when you inhale as you swallow. You’ll know it when you do it. Once opened across your pallet, the true nature of this brew is brought to light: scotch-like, peppery, slightly bitter, chocolaty, and just alive with dark cherries and clove. There is so very much going on in this beer that its 10.2% APV won’t even be realized as you sip away exploring it as though you were nursing a Scotch in front of a crackling fire. It is -simply put- delicious. But what to eat with it? Fish. I could absolutely enjoy this with a tuna steak, shallots, and a burre blanc. Oh yes.
Rating: * * * *
Beer that reminds you just how nurturing a good brewery can be.