I guess I’m a fickle little bitch when it comes to beer.
Last night I was so excited to come across some four packs of Founder’s Backwoods Bastard sitting in the cooler of my local beer shop. Backwoods Bastard got me into whiskey-barrel-aged brews, and once upon a time it topped my list of favorite beers. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve had one, and I quickly grabbed up two quads of the stuff. My wife poured one right after I got home. I eagerly stole a sip, and, boy, how times have changed.
Instead of the boozy treat I remember, I tasted an okay beer that was a little out of balance, with the whiskey notes from barrel overwhelming the malt backbone and producing a peppery finish that was a little punishing. It wasn’t awful, mind you, but it wasn’t as awesome as I remember it.
I think there might be two factors at work here. One is that beers change from year to year, and perhaps this year’s batch of Bastards isn’t as balanced as bottles of yore. The other (more likely) factor is that I’ve been spoiled in the intervening years by New Holland Dragon’s Milk and Schlafly Imperial Stout, both which manage to provide huge whiskey flavor, but deliver it in a more refined way than Backwoods Bastard.
I had a glass of the stuff last night and enjoyed it, but it used to magical, and now it’s just serviceable. I still have some bottles left, so we’ll see if I can catch a spark of the old feelings I had for this beer, enjoying it for the wild backwoods ruffian it is. I’m hoping that’ll be the case now that my expectations have been moderated a bit.
Anyway, I hate it when I beer I love fails to thrill me. It’s like kissing you sister. 😦