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Bourbon Aged Brews are Great: Heading to the Backwoods

Our Journey

Founders Brewing Company is celebrating twenty years of history with the craft brewing industry and we’re taking some time to feature their amazing brews this week.  With nearly two dozen outstanding craft brews on the market and a huge following of enthusiasts world-wide, this brewing company has made major strides over the years.  Coming up from a simple start that nearly landed them in bankruptcy, they’ve surged forward to create brews that win medals all over the world and gain top rankings on sites like BeerAdvocate and RateBeer.  We’re proud of the accomplishments they’ve pulled out of their hats and one of those outstanding accomplishments was the creation of their barrel-aged brew, Backwoods Bastard Ale.

The backwoods never looked quite so enticing

The brew itself is great, and we’ll get to that in a moment, but first, check out that artwork on the left.  The artwork on Founders labels never fails to impress us, as it really gives a spirit and feel to the brew inside.  This label really gives us a deeper view of the folk that would have made up the “woodsman” type in the days of old.  We can nearly see him headed out to chop wood with his mule and trusty hound, not to mention the skin of brew that would get him through the day.  Hardened and grizzled, this ancient icon would have been that real “Grizzly Adams” of the time and the imagery nearly adds another level to the brew itself, which portrays that trusty, hardened, and wizened image within its aromas and flavors.

The art really suits the brew in more ways than that.  This lovely, dark brew features a caramel-colored head with plenty of bubbles and the effect is one of a nearly earthy image that sits well next to the label art.  It is as if the artist took all of the features of the brew and imbued them in the artwork in a way that pulled it all together perfectly.  This seems to be the standing theme for their label art, as each brew has this really great match in it’s label and we’re proud of how Founders has gone beyond the brew to bring together enthusiasts and art-lovers alike.

Huge, barrel-aged quality lies within each bottle

The brew master at Founders Brewing Company states “You put the right beer in the right barrel and you’re going to create some pretty interesting flavors.”  This is entirely true of Backwoods Bastard Ale, which is the perfect result of barrel-aging an already amazing brew.  This brew is not one intended for the power-drinkers out there.  Unless, of course, they want to fall on their face early in the evening.  Instead, this brew is meant to be sipped while telling tales of the past and remembering those great moments in our lives, the ones that really made a difference.

The aroma of the brew features all of the great oaky, smoky, roasted malt nuances we’d expect from a really great bourbon barrel-aged brew, while the flavor profile features some of the same with the addition of a hint of fruits, some delightful caramel hints, and a burn that really complements the entire experience.  The brew evolves very well in the glass and the 11.2% ABV holds out for the entire ride, which is pretty impressive.  RateBeer gives this brew a rating of 100, which takes quite an amazing brew overall, and to be honest, we give it the same rating as it really is outstanding.

We hope you get a chance to check out this delicious and iconic brew which is only available throughout November.  The good news is that it ages well in the bottle, too, so when you get the opportunity, pick up a few bottles to age.  We’re sure you’ll love the way it evolves over time, as the aromas and flavors seem to grow and change in delightful ways when aging.

Don’t forget to leave us a comment about your own experiences with this delicious brew.  We love to hear from our readers and your experiences will help others to understand the many brews out there and perhaps drive them to make a decision on what to try for their next visit!


Apr 12, 2017