Blue Collar Brew – 2017 Founders Backwoods Bastard

I caught wind of Founders‘ usual November release, Backwoods Bastard. I found it on the shelf at my local beer place earlier today. How fortunate. I even had enough money to afford it.

Backwoods Bastard is one of Founders’ barrel aged beers along with CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout,) KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout,) Doom and that vile DKML (Dick Kicker Malt Liquor.) Backwoods Bastard was aged in oak bourbon barrels for a year. The Bastard is a Scotch Wee Heavy style of beer and is the big brother of their Dirty Bastard ale. The former a Scotch ale, the latter a Scottish ale. Only a Scotch ale can hold the title of Wee Heavy. Or is that the other way around?

I know that I wrote about this beer before. A quick search turned up the article posted back in November of 2014. Since then the price has come down by $3 and the ABV went up by 1%. Here’s the SPT link.

I dragged out the old thistle glass just for this occasion. Hasn’t been used since. I think I’m really going to enjoy drinking this beer again.

The beer poured looking like Pepsi coming out of the bottle, but once the liquid hit the bottom, all was quite dark. The pour also brought up a huge tan foamy head and as the liquid settled down, there was a nice foam cascade effect descending the trumpet part of the thistle glass. Carbonation was moderate. When held up to the desk lamp, the liquid had a ruby red color going for itself. The aroma held wisps of cookies and sweet malts.

The first sip was something special. I was first hit with a big boozy mouthful. The alcohol taste quickly went away. Then the dark malty flavors set it in successive sips. This was indeed a big beer. After a few more sips, my palate settled down and I tasted the beer as it should be, slow and deliberate. What we have is a genuine version of a Scottish Wee Heavy but this may be a bit more than Wee. There was not one thing out of place nor were there any odd surprises in the taste of this beer. It was delicious and guaranteed to etch itself into your memory banks.

The bourbon from the barrel storage was in every sip adding to the complexity of flavors. Dark sweetness, as if from molasses was also prevalent. What a perfect sipping beer to have while the weather turns to shit outside.

Scotch ale is a style of beer that I haven’t had in quite some time. The beer to fall back on when craving a Wee Heavy is of course, Old Chub from Oskar Blues. But I remember Old Chub to have a bit of an earthy sweetness that tended to get a bit cloying after a couple of cans. I’ll have to get a hold of some Dirty Bastard  to make a comparison. I’d like to partake in a taste comparison between this Backwoods Bastard and North Coast’s Old Stock Ale. Different style, but I’d bet the two are quite similar. That would be the experience to learn how Wee Heavies are different from old ales. This Backwoods Bastard has the sweet but to a lesser degree. The beer is surprisingly quite smooth going down.

This Bastard is the big boy on the block for the month of November traditionally. It’s the biggest beer what ain’t a stout. Not one stinkin’ roasted barley awn is in it. The beer would make for great mellow feeling and a smaller chance of heartburn later.

Backwoods Bastard is on the shelves now, but as we get closer to the end of the month, the availability may dwindle to nothing. Refamiliarize yourself with the great taste of Scotch Wee Heavy in the form of Founders Backwoods Bastard. See if it’s available at your favorite tap house. But take it slow, lest ye be sandbagged.

The SixPackTech summary for Founders Backwoods Bastard:

Style: Scotch Wee Heavy
Taste: Dark, sweet with some bourbon overtones.
Smoothness: Surprisingly easy going down.
Bang for the buck: Better than in 2014.
Amount paid: $13.99 for a four-pack of 12-ounce bottles.
Get it again? Hell yeah. Should age quite well.
ABV: 11.2%
Brewer’s website
Wife’s all-encompassing opinion: (Sniff) What does that smell like? (sip) Bleah! Old, old, terrible coffee. No thank you. Yuck. (That’s not what you said last time!)

Untappd rates.

Popcorn Sutton

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Popcorn died in March of ’09 by his own hand. Read about it here.

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