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Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

6,950 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,950
Reviews: 1,641
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 10.37%
Wants: 865
Gots: 2,469 | FT: 243
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: CortexBomb on 01-30-2007

"Wee Heavy", cave aged in oak bourbon barrels.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,950 | Reviews: 1,641
Photo of nucloid
1.81/5  rDev -58.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.25

Its' incredible how heavy this beer is. Even sipping this was impossible. Its' almost as if I was drinking Soy Sauce. I would like to point out that this is was my first heavy beer. Ill have to work my way up the line of heavy beers.

Photo of craftmich
4.62/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Boosie taste. This is a sipper, but a great sipper. Ages very well.

Photo of WineGuy3000
4.85/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Quick review. The definition of flavor with the bourbon component is beyond compare. This beer is without a doubt the finest bourbon beer that I've tasted to date.

Photo of chopp02
3.59/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

it basically tasted like straight up bourbon with a little bit of beer on top

Photo of TheElectricOne
4.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Track 84 in Warwick, RI:

Appearance: a dark, slightly reddish brown, with a quickly dissipating off white head. Persistent lacing throughout the beer as drunk though.

Aroma: Lots of vanilla, along with some spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. I almost always get vanilla from bourbon-aged brews, and this one was especially powerful, along with LOTS of oaky bourbon. From the smell, I expected lots of boozy heat.

Taste: Much more well-balanced than the bourbon-vanilla rich aroma given off. Really, really smooth with a nice malty backbone. Very sweet, but with quite a bit of bourbon and the vanilla mentioned above. A slow drinker, but extremely enjoyable nonetheless.

Feel: Medium-bodied, with lots of lingering bourbon heat. Creamy and smooth.

Overall: A very unique tasting brew, a little light in color and texture, but very rich in aroma and flavor.

Photo of Get_Lowell
3.84/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Sporadic foam, leaves an enticing lacing along the glass, dark brown body.
Smell: Oak, caramel, sugar.
Taste: Caramel hits you on the front, mild toffee flavor, perhaps cherry as well, kind of drops off at the end.
Feel: Medium body, kind of surprised me at first because I was expecting more of a barley wine body.
Overall: While it wasn't everything that I had hoped this did have some really enjoyable nuances on the palate. Within the style it definitely deserves commendation.

Photo of SebastianOwl
4.29/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 10/15/14. This beer definitely benefits from cellar aging (6 months in this case) as the bourbon dominated the taste when fresh.

Photo of patch911
3.11/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Not too bad. Probably would not buy a six pack though. Kentucky bourbon barrel ale is better.

Photo of ER527
4.36/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 10/01/2014, really mellowed out the bourbon

Photo of CincyBrewTull
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Spicy bourbon heat with buried raisin, dark fruit, and caramel notes.

Photo of EMV
4.81/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

In bottle poured into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a dark mahogany brown, approaching black. A nice head leaves delicate lacing on the glass.

S: Bourbon. Delicious oaky bourbon plus alcohol, with undertones of malts and light hops.

T: Just a glorious beer, boozy with a wonderful bourbon flavor on top of the malts and caramel of the wee heavy. Mild hop bitterness at the finish keeps it honest.

F: Thick and chewy, moderate carbonation and smooooth.

O: One of my favorites, and great quality as expected from Founders. Serve at cellar temperature for best flavor, and if you like bourbon aged beers this is one of the best. It really works well with the wee-heavy style and the malts are dominant but there's definite complexity once you get past the alcohol. Boozy and delicious. It mellows a little bit with a few extra months of aging but it rarely lasts long enough in my house to get there.

Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm normally not a Scotch Ale fan but this one knocks it out of the park!!!

Photo of Octavarium77
4.99/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Really one of the best BB brews (brews in general really) out there. Pour this one into a tulip after dinner, sit by the fireplace with a good book, sip, and let how lucky you are to be alive sink in.

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this from a 12 oz. bottle and on tap at the Bryant lake Bowl.
A: Brilliant chestnut under a half inch light tan foam collar.
S: bourbon, alcohol, rich malt.
T: Alcoholic, definite bourbon, some chocolate notes, kettle sugars, malty-grainy spice, bitter finish, vanilla.
F: Chewy, smooth, medium carbonation,
O: Manages a three way balance between the hops, the alcohol and the bitters. A pleasant after dinner beer.

Photo of Plower
1.72/5  rDev -60.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I tried this beer and thought I was going to hurl after I finished 3/4 of it. Being the man that I am, I gave it another try and got to 1/2. Yeah, I got half this down then I puked up the two bags of BBQ corn nuts I had just eaten.

So after that happened and me being the man I am I went back to the other 1/2 and finished it.

Was it the BBQ corn nuts? I don't know, but I'm calling it like I see it. This had a water whiskey flavor and a fierce alcohol burn. Who drinks this? It doesn't make you a man. This is for bastards...literally.

Yeah, my review was harsh but so was this beer.

Photo of ManBearPat
4.78/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Not sure why more wee heavy's don't get barrel-aged.

This is a thick, rich, malty gem that I hope I will be able to try again some day.

Photo of HowardTheDuck
4.06/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Doing a side-by-side with '13 and '14 bottles, as air just have one '12 left that I'll save for a longer vertical in the future. No distinguishable difference on the pour. On the nose, the '13 has a slightly stronger bourbon scent. That carries through to the taste as well, with the '13 also having a just a touch more caramel sweetness. This makes me assume they keep their bourbon barrels on a 3-year rotation like they do with KBS. Overall there's not much difference at all between the batches, now 5 months and 17 months old. Will be curious to see how much difference is present with a bigger lineup in a couple years.

Photo of Catracho5
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Review for 2013 Backwoods Bastard
12 ounce bottle poured into a Belgian style tulip

A: Dark brown with an off white head that vanished fairly quick, little to no carbonation, looks kind of cloudy, minor lacing.

A: Bourbon sweetness up front, picking up the malts, caramel toffee sweetness with some roasted nut aromas,

T: Bourbon, malts, caramel, toffee, some roasted nut flavors, very nice dry finish, picking up some of the alcohol, slight bitterness at the end that fades fairly quick, tastes really good.

M: Medium mouthfeel with a dry finish slight alcohol burn.

O: Very drinkable, very smooth, tasty, it’s a 2013 and the bourbon and alcohol leave a slight burn on the palate, but overall, very good. Kind of reminds me of a barrel aged barleywine as the Scotch ale characteristics are absent.

Photo of sweet-maltman_1
4.94/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It is rare that I find a beer that just makes me want to have more than one at a sitting. Backwoods Bastard is just that. It is a very complex brew, similar to a good Scotch Ale but with a lot of subtle complexities. Obviously that comes from the aging process in Bourbon Casks. The taste is dark fruit, peat, chocolate and bourbon. It has a little more hops on the finish than I generally like, but this is a world class brew. Watch out however if you do engage and have more than a couple at a sitting because it is a 10.2% brew and they do sneak up on you. Cheers.

Photo of mchegash
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - 4.25/5
A beautiful deep shade of red. Minimal head, but some. Clear-ish, but the color is fairly dark so you can't see through super well.

Smell - 4.25/5
Oakey Bourbon and Vanilla is the dominant aroma. Maybe a little bit of spice. I can't detect much else in the aroma, but the aroma is fantastic. The aroma reminds me of NH's Dragon's Milk.

Taste - 4.25/5
Strong oakey bourbon and creamy vanilla flavors, along with some slightly sweet malts. Maybe some chocolate. The 10.2% ABV is masterfully hidden behind the delicious taste. I tried to detect more nuances in the flavor, but couldn't. The oak-bourbon-vanilla flavor is great, but a little more complexity would be appreciated.

Mouthfeel - 4.5/5
Very creamy, lightly carbonated, in between light and medium bodied. I love the feel of this beer in my mouth.

Overall - 4.5/5
This beer definitely lives up to the hype. The oak-bourbon-vanilla flavor is the best I have had among beers with a flavor similar to this (Dragon's Milk and Pilgrim's Dole come to mind). A little more complexity in the aroma and flavor might have improved this beer, but no major complaints. Definitely a beer to sip and savor. Glad I was able to snag the last 4-pack of this at a local liquor store.

Photo of founddrama
4.06/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A little bit rye whiskey, a little bit porter. Smooth and flat and more like settling in with a glass of whiskey. Flavor-wise there.

Photo of Gr8Stouts
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very close to Weyerbacher Insanity, a bit smoother with not as much bourbon. For my taste I prefer Insanity over BB. Great Ale and I will buy it when ever I can find it.

Photo of KM_Seahawk
4.21/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- clear deep mahogany, very little head that dissipates quickly
S- vanilla, strong bourbon, butterscotch, toffee sweetness, very pleasant
T- just like the nose, butterscotch, vanilla & bourbon up front, some creme brulee, slight oak, tannic and warming alcohol on the end.
M- medium to full bodied, very smooth and creamy, very low carbonation
O - really enjoyable, very tasty and very smooth for the abv. Too bad that I could only get 2 bottles, hopefully I can load up next time.

Photo of von_kaiser
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Like butterscotch! Let her sit for a bit after taking out the fridge. Glad I loaded up on this stuff this year. Looking forward to see what age has to offer. Cheers!

Photo of Stigh
3.3/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A Little bit on the sweet side for me

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Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 6,950 ratings.