Friday, November 20, 2009

Holy Mother of Bourbon

Many beer aficionados are aware of the bourbon barrel fad that has passed through craft brew nation the last 3 or 4 years. Quite honestly, at times it seems like some late adopters have just started doing it in order to keep up with the Joneses. That's a shame because a well thought out bourbon barrel brew is a spectacle to behold. Well I haven't had a bourbon barrel brew lately that really stood out amongst the crowd, until this evening. While browsing the new arrivals at Norm's, I came across Backwoods Bastard by Founders. As a kid who went to school in southern Virginia (Go Hokies!) is apt to do, the bourbon barrel brews usually catch my eye. I couldn't resist.

The thing that really made this beer stand out from the other bourbon beers is that the bourbon flavor was big and fresh and in your face. This beer isn't for the faint of heart. Seriously, Mrs. HolzBrew had one wiff of it and turned up her nose. You've got to love bourbon (not just tolerate it) in order to appreciate this one.

Here goes:

Look:dark brown to deep copper in color. A thin tan head slowly forms during then pour and then instantly fades. The carbonation level is fairly low.

Smell: The initial nose is sweet maltiness followed by a pronounced woodiness. Then a bit of char and a whole lot of bourbon and alcohol.

Drink: The first sip is a malt and bourbon explosion. The alcohol is hot and spicy on the back end. Lots of bourbon in this one the scotch malts fill in the background.

Overall: Personally I love the fresh and biting bourbon side of this beer. Browsing some of the reviews on beeradvocate some people feel this is "over-bourboned." They are right, but thats why I like it. It's an A in my book, but if you have an aversion to bourbon this might rank fairly low to you.

“How well I remember my first encounter with The Devil's Brew. I happened to stumble across a case of bourbon -- and went right on stumbling for several days thereafter.”

-W. C. Fields

1 comment:

Travis said...

We just filled up two 55 gallon bourbon barrels at Jack's Brewing last week. Plan on aging it for 6-12 months. I have really been digging a fine barrel beer lately, especially sours. I think it's time to start work on a nice sour, actually.