25 Beers of Christmas: Day Four – Founders Backwoods Bastard


So much about this beer reminds me of my Grandfather, from the bourbon & coke he faithfully made with dinner, to the big green hat & flannel that I’ll forever associate with him. Both sides of my family are from Georgia, and I cannot overstate how much he was the essence of a Southern man (and what a wonderful Southern woman he raised aka my mother). He was born and raised in the same county, bred and used Walkers & Beagles for hunting, constantly kept his faith next to his heart, worked hard, and thought his wife was the most beautiful woman in the world. He also made the best hushpuppies & fried fish you would ever have. Oh boy were those irresistible.

Though I can’t pinpoint a specific time I remember him wearing one of the hats that we now have at home, it is one of those images that will always stay in my mind. Wearing red flannel, jeans, a wide green hat, and his glasses while loading up the canoe in his green Ford Ranger. Singing wayyy out of tune on our way to the creek. My brother and I had several great years of learning how to fish from him, a little bit about guns, a few life lessons sprinkled in – mainly observations on how to be a good man and great grandfather. I wish I had been there more, asked more questions, but the hope that my brother and I can one day go fishing in the same hats and enjoy the same serenity he found on the river is amazing. But hey, back to the beer…

All in all…This is absolutely oozing with bourbon smell & taste. The flavor is so beautifully blended that it is almost convincing me that this is the only form of bourbon whiskey I’ll ever need. Almost. Almost. It has a delightful oak flavor to me, but it doesn’t venture too far over to the charred or smokey side, and in my opinion has a small hint of oily coconut. That may be just me, as some others who had this the other night remarked on the vanilla flavors. Surprisingly it also feels very light, as opposed to having an overbearing nature that bourbon barrel beers can have.

I’m curious, though, about the barrels they used for this beer.  Bourbon barrel aged beers are very prevalent these days, and it would be really interesting to hear more about what specific barrels are used in the aging process. Also, getting more information about their process would be fascinating. Was there a certain flavor in the bourbon whiskey that they liked and inspired them to select these certain barrels? Or were these bought from Scotch whisky distillers? And how interesting would it be to see what a Scotch whisky barrel aged beer is like? Did they rinse/wash the barrels out before putting the beer inside? What did that do for the flavor? There’s so much to ask!

Recommend to a friend? If you are any type of whiskey lover, you must try this.

How much snow are you willing to scrape off your car for this? Any beer that makes me throw my hands up in the air and and exclaim how happy it makes me deserves a (5) Dig through a Minnesota blizzard

Safe for lightweights? Alas this is not safe for lightweights at 10.2% ABV

Plus one? I wish I could, but that wouldn’t really be wise.

And from Founders: “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.”

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7 comments
  1. G-LO said:

    Now I’m REALLY annoyed! I had a bottle of this beer in my possession right around Halloween. On Halloween, the wife raided the fridge to grab a beer for herself (she had the Stone Oaked Arrogant Bastard) and one of our friends (Backwoods Bastard). They are not beer aficionados and knew not what they grabbed. You know where this is going…

    Later in the evening, while cleaning up the yard, I found the two bottles on the patio. Both unfinished. Alas, sampling the Backwoods Bastard will have to wait till next years release. Such is life!

    As far as barrel type goes, I’m not sure what types of barrels they use, but Bourbon can only be made with new, charred oak barrels while a great many Scotch whiskies are aged in first fill (i.e. used once to age Bourbon) American white oak barrels. I doubt very much that they would ship in barrels from Scotland.

    Lovely review by the way. I like how you tied it in with your Grandfather. Very very cool!

    Cheers!
    G-LO

  2. thebakeandbrew said:

    Oh no! Something similar happened when one of my friends brought a Duvel and another bourbon barrel beer to a get-together…the host grabbed one & gave away the other thinking his partner had bought them for the soiree. Needless to say she wasn’t very happy.

    I would be really curious to see if their are any brewers in the UK who are currently using beers aged in the Scotch barrels, as I agree with you that there probably aren’t any in the US using those – I can imagine how costly it must be to do that.

    And thank you so much for the great feedback! It’s so great to hear that other people are enjoying reading this – I’m definitely having a blast trying & writing about everything.

    • G-LO said:

      Funny you should mention UK brewers and used whisky barrels. Check this out…

      http://www.harviestoun.com/OlaDubh/

      If the beer is half as good as Highland Park whisky, then it’s one AMAZING beer!

      You’re doing great by the way. Keep up the good work! 🙂

      • thebakeandbrew said:

        My heavens that is amazing – thank you for that link! I hope I’m lucky enough to try both the whisky and beer at some point.

      • G-LO said:

        So you like whisky too??? Awesome! I highly recommend any of the Highland Park expressions. As far as the beer, my neighbor and friend has a bottle of the “30 year old cask” aged beer in his fridge. I believe that it was quite expensive, but will hopefully be worth every penny!

      • thebakeandbrew said:

        I’ve definitely enjoyed what I’ve tried! I think my favorite so far has been Laphroaig, but it’s very hard to explore any type of liquor in Muncie. We have an amazing selection of beers at our bars, but there’s just not much in the way of anything else.

      • G-LO said:

        Laphroiag??? Awesome! Love the stuff. Not for the faint of heart. Clearly, you like em smoky and intense. Good luck on your journey! Let us know if you need any other recommendations. 🙂

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