The Founders Backwoods Bastard will become a year-round offering in April.
This makes me happy. This means more opportunities to enjoy this beer without buying as much as I can when it arrives in November.
My question becomes, how will this change affect both its actual taste and its perceived taste among the craft beer blogosphere.
I trust Founders to make a move like this. Their beer’s high quality remains consistent with every bottle and keg. I expect that this decision is carefully planned and will occur with minimal disruption to the beer. The question begs, will the response to Backwoods Bastard in April, hold the same intensity as a core item as it did in November when it was special. The stories we tell ourselves about a beer carry more weight than the actual facts of the beer.
Yet, I digress. We are here to praise Backwoods Bastard not bury it.
Backwoods pours with a reddish brown/chestnut color and a thin off-white foamy head. It has a slight haze and nice carbonation.
Alcohol and a plum/pruny sweetness are upfront on the aroma. For an aged beer, it carries less leathery/oxidized hints then I expected.
The alcohol, while present and noticeable, does not overwhelm and is not as intense as the aroma indicates. There are two “woody” tastes. The first is a restrained old-world hop woodiness and the second is on the backend and comes from the barrel aging. The rest of the taste is a classic scotch ale with a malt-focused sweetness with enough hop bitterness to balance out the sweetness of the malt and barrel aging.
This is a great beer whose year-round presence I welcome. I hope the general beer drinking population joins me in that sentiment.
Food pairing recommendations: Rotini pasta with a vodka marinara sauce or a nice slice of apple pie topped with cheddar cheese.