Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company
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Ratings: 4,767 | Reviews: 1,405 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Spider889:
3.83/5 rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
In some ways this is probably the best Scotch Ale I have ever had, and frankly I think it's because the style is full of too many mediocre beers. But in other ways this is a horrible example of the style because, frankly, there is little semblance of the base beer due to the overpowering effect of the barrel.
Either way, I'm still a fan of this beer!
It took some serious coaxing in order to get some head out of this beer. What results is a soapy yellowish head of 1/4 inch. It receded within a minute and I'm left with little but splotchy lace. The color is a deep burnt umber color with dark brown shades that almost reach purple, port-like hues. I imagine that the beer mimics what the inside of the oak barrel would look like: a dark, charred brown. Finally, the beer is hazed with lots of tiny particulate floating around.
Smells strong of Founders' barrels. I am instantly taken back to my experience with CBS - minus the stout, this beer has to be aged in the same, or similar, barrels. Lots of vanilla and sweet bourbon. Molasses in a diluted form wanders about, along with tobacco leaves and mild earthy notes, finished by light char and oak.
The flavor is complex and layered, though once again, heavily dominated by the barrel. Dark brown sugar provides a sweetness that balances out a bitterness in the beer (50 ibu's) that would normally seem too strong for a scotch ale. The bourbon flavors mask much of the bitterness though, which allows for it to play a positive role. There's a very light cinnamon graininess to the beer, though this is most likely just part of the wood aging. Plenty of vanilla and bourbon add smoothness as well as depth to the beer. The char of the oak barrels shines through ever so faintly. The alcohol is a little boozy but ultimately pleasantly warming. The more it warms peat and more bitterness push through. I really enjoyed the flavor of this beer, but I still have to say that the base scotch ale is fairly difficult to discern for me.
The mouthfeel is packed with dry oakiness. Warm alcohol makes this a sipper. The consistency is slick but smooth with low carbonation.
A truly solid beer, very likable. Drinkability suffers somewhat due to the price and availability, not to mention the abv. I look forward to the release next year.
Serving type: bottle
01-10-2011 09:56:52 | More by Spider889
More User Reviews:
4.81/5 rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Poured from 12 oz. bottle into brandy snifter.
A - Radiant auburn body. Quite a bit of sediment, which is likely tasty bourbon sludge. A thin off-white head forms on the top.
S - Well, true to the style it smells like bourbon. Hints of vanilla, burnt sugar, and cherry also are present.
T - Right away, a luxurious oaky vanilla bourbon flavor rushes over the palate. Then comes a malty biscuit and cookie sweetness typical of Scottish ales, with black cherry and a hint of smoke. The finish is wonderfully boozy and comes full circle with a return to bourbon. Delightful.
M - Thick without being syrupy. The carbonation is just enough to lift up the heft of the booze.
O - Right up there with KBS. The barrel-aging process brings a new layer of depth Founders' heavy Scottish ale, which can be a tad on the sweet side. I find that at first this beer can have quite bite from the alcohol, but after 6 months to a year in the cellar it mellows out to be just about perfect.
Serving type: bottle
04-25-2014 00:17:56 | More by hail_seitan
Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 4,767 ratings.