AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20Chad9976 (1521) - Orlando, Florida, USA - DEC 21, 2015
Ales tend to be big, but Founders Backwoods Bastard may be the biggest
of them all. Weighing in at 11.6% ABV (the 2015 edition, that is) and
aged in bourbon barrels; it’s safe to say this is a beastly brew. Though
for such a behemoth, it’s remarkably tame. The palette is delicious and
the deliver is smooth and warming. In a world obsessed with imperial
stouts and IPAs, this is a hidden gem in your beer store.
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 9/26/15 and cost $4.39 ($0.37 per ounce).
Appearance: Gorgeous cherry red hue; looks almost like red wine. Body is
fairly clear but dark. Initially pours to a large, dark tan, foamy head
but it mostly fades and leaves only minor lacing.
Smell: Lovely sweetness of maraschino cherries and bourbon. There’s a
strong malt presence as well. Alcohol is noticeable, but not
Taste: Every once in a while I’ll have a beer from a style I don’t
usually think of as being among my favorites and it’ll amaze me. This is
one of those beers. The palette is simply delicious: sweet to be sure,
but nothing artificial or even remotely cloying about it. Much like the
nose, the taste is largely dark fruit: rum-soaked raisin, cherries and
figs along with confectionery sweetness of caramel and toffee. The
bourbon emerges on the finish in the form of both a sweet, oaky, vanilla
sensation as well as alcohol. Though not especially bitter, it doesn’t
come off as unbalanced or hot. This may be the best Scotch Ale I’ve ever
had, though it might also be considered an Old Ale since it’s aged in
bourbon barrels. Perhaps it’s the best of both worlds?
Drinkability: There’s no such thing as cold winter’s night here in
Florida, but Founders Backwoods Bastard definitely is the kind of brew
I’d recommend for an evening of staying in. The 11.6% ABV potency is
apparent, but subtle enough that it’s part of the natural presentation
of the brew. Warm to be sure with a lingering sensation in the throat
after the first few swigs. It eventually becomes a smooth, thick, and
surprisingly clean-finishing sipper. I could’ve drank an entire bomber
of this solo. Don’t pair this with anything – drink it on a clean palate
and savor it.