I've long been a fancier of Dirty Bastard, the simple, sweet-toothed purveyor of syrupy, raisiny malts and brown sugar, but only got around to trying the more famed and fabled wooded version recently.
Of course, Backwoods Bastard opens with a whack of vanilla and wood syrup, though thankfully there's more than that to taste. It does stay in the realm of caramel toffee and malted biscuit, all smothered in that heady bourbon syrup. It's an enjoyably sweet and boozy nightcap, but it does harbour suggestions of the kind of thing that put me off bourbon barrel aged beers a long time ago - that harsh, overpowering sweetness that makes a beer taste flavoured, not matured or aged. That's just my taste, but I feel I find that problem a lot less in bigger, bolder beers like imperial stouts or particularly robust barleywines. Perhaps a more balancing hop bitterness or a more bracing roasted malt character is what I need before I start fully appreciating bourbon.
But then, what do I know. This is still a nice enough beer, even if I do prefer the philistine simplicity of it's smaller brother.