Founder’s Brewing Co – Backwoods Bastard

If I have a few regular readers out there, you may have noticed that I have been absent from the blogging world for the past week or so.  Unfortunately, I came down with what the doctor is telling me was either pneumonia or bronchitis.  She told me she could continue to do tests to figure out which one of the two it was, but ultimately once she figured out it wasn’t the flu, so she decided to just give me some really strong drugs that would kill both possibilities.  I, of course, was fine with that.  If you’ve ever had the flu test, then you know why I was pretty much done with tests at that point.

Anyway, now that I’m basically back to being healthy, I am finally getting around to finishing this review for a beer I had over a week ago.  Founders is a company I have been in love with for the past few months.  First, I wrote about Devil Dancer.  If you’ve never had it, it is perhaps the most intense IPA I’ve ever had.  Then I picked up the regular breakfast stout and the much anticipated Canadian Breakfast Stout.  Finally, I picked up a four-pack of this little interesting brew.

There were a few different reasons I bought this one.  I foremost wanted it because it’s brewed by Founders.  Like I said earlier, they have been producing some of the best stuff I’ve had recently.  However, the description of this one left me interested as well.  This one says it has the smell of a single malt scotch, oaky bourbon barrels, and caramel.  I don’t know any real lover of booze who doesn’t love the sound of that.

This one pours our a very nice reddish brown hue.  It has a really rich color that is reminiscent of the bourbon barrels it is apparently aged in.  Another really interesting aspect was the total lack of head.  I am accustomed to a very slight amount of head developing on the pour, but this one had absolutely zero head on it.  With the total lack of head, there is also almost no real lacing.  There is a little bit of obvious sticky residue left over, but nothing really lacy.  There is a slight hazy quality to the clarity of the beer.  There isn’t any sediment or anything, but it has an interesting haziness.  Finally, there is really no visible carbonation at all.

The most prominent of all the smells is the bourbon smell that wafts out of this one.  I don’t know that any other beer I’ve had has been so affected by the barrels it has been stored in.  It always seems to contribute, but it never really seems to define it like this.  The oaky woody scent really comes through on the nose as well.  Behind the woody scent there is an interesting little peppery quality there as well.  I can’t help but think this has something to do with the bite of the alcohol involved.  Also mixing in with the scent is both a little sweet and smokey quality.  I suppose that single malt scotch aspect brings in the smoke.

Tasting this beer you realize this is not for your commercial beer drinker.  The taste actually starts surprisingly clean.  It has a really sweet malty flavor.  This sweetness is continued when a rich dark fruit flavor comes in.  It has a very deep rich cherry type of flavoring.  From there it becomes very boozy.  Following the fruit, there is a heavy bourbon taste that comes in for the finish.  The bourbon has that alcohol burn in it to finish the taste which brings that boozy feel well into the aftertaste.  There is also an interesting little hint of hops as well; however, the boozy bourbon feel overwhelms everything else.  Each sip brings you further and further along in what almost comes off as hard alcohol.

The mouthfeel is a little different and, as a lover of carbonation, slightly off-putting.  There really isn’t much carbonation in this one at all. It has a much more syrupy quality to it instead.  This really only increases the feel of consuming hard alcohol more than beer.  The boozy aftertaste isn’t really all that terrible, but I feel like you have to be in the mood for it.  The booziness just persists so much in the end.

I personally do like this beer, but I think I have to pick it up more when I’m in the mood.  Like I said, I bought a four-pack, but I actually gave one to a friend.  So I have two more of these to consume.  Most likely I’ll be holding on to these till I see some snow.  I can really picture sitting next to the window, watching the snow, and feeling the warming effect of the alcohol this one has to offer.

Teacher Rating: B



  1. This is a sometimes and not an all-the-time beer for me. Luckily, its high ABV means that you can keep it pretty much forever. Maybe this should be your first foray into apartment cellaring.

    • Ha I agree, I have a box that I have to clean out that would be perfect for cellaring and fit nicely under the bed. I just have to get on that. I have another bottle or two I may do as well. I was on track to get this going, but I was sidetracked by illness.

  2. Hope you are on the mend, and that you got some of the good cough syrup. Nice return post. I think I probably need this beer.

    • Yeah I am definitely on the mend. I’ve been on antibiotics for the past week now. So things are definitely looking up. Thanks for the well wishes. Yeah you should definitely check this one out. It’s definitely meant for sipping though.

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