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Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,588 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,588
Hads: 7,066
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 4.98%
Wants: 913
Gots: 2,525 | FT: 242
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,588 | Hads: 7,066
Photo of jeffthecheff
2.87/5  rDev -32%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to Joe for the bottle. Your just helping me beat you in the race to 200, dude. Poured into a tulip glass on a snowy day while watching the winter Olympics. It has a dark red/brown color with just a wisp of a tan head. There are some small, flaky particles floating throughout.

The nose contains some toasted, oaky wood and alcohol. Vanilla is a bit strong and reminds me of vanilla extract. I would like more subtlety here. I'm not generally in to bourbon aged beers, so I appreciated that this didn't smell like it had a straight shot of whiskey in it, but the aromas of the beer itself were a bit underwhelming.

Flavor is rich caramel up front with some oak wood on the finish. Vanilla in the middle, and a bit too strong again. Slight dark fruits on the back. I'm glad this doesn't taste like whiskey, but there is a slight burn on the tongue and throat. The mouthfeel is unimpressive, and is the low light of this beer. It has a thin impact for its size. A bit thin, which carries a slightly syrupy liquor flavor in the finish. I would prefer heavier malt in the flavor mouthfeel.

This beer took me way to long to drink. It had some decent attributes, and some nice, subtle barrel character, but the base beer didn't impress me. It feels a bit lifeless in the mouthfeel, and the flavors just weren't my bag. (1,321 characters)

Photo of yannimou
2.89/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Be warned; there is A LOT of bourbon in this beer. It's sweet and malty, but bourbon is the dominate flavor in this beer. The alcohol is NOT masked at all. Imagine drinking a viscous, carbonated bourbon with 1/4 the alcohol content. That's backwoods. Sorry, but I'm not a fan. I like BBA stouts and even barely or wheat wines. This is not for me. (346 characters)

Photo of HardTarget
2.95/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Hazy dark brown glass holds a trace of head that gives some lacing to the glass.

Smell: Boozy bourbon. Oak is heavy and a bit raw. As some of that off gasses, some raisin sweetness is noted.

Taste: Bourbon is hot and forward and overwhelms most of the other flavors except the oak, which lingers well after the swallow. Hard to get any beer flavor here, every sip is a shot of bourbon.

Mouthfeel: Medium heavy body, firm but not fizzy carbonation, oily slick finish.

Overall: Gratuitous oaking, 15 yard penalty, repeat the down. A little disappointed, expected a better beer from Founders. This might mellow out in a cellar for a while, but I don't think that much wood is going away. I also think they left half the bourbon in the barrel, it drowns out anything else that might have contributed to the taste. Not being a real Bourbon fan, this kills the review.
Thanks to Illudium for the bottle. (913 characters)

Photo of psuKinger
2.97/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottle poured into standard shaker pint glass because I need to save my snifters for New Year's Day football/friends tomorrow. No freshness date readily visible on the bottle, but for a big 10.2% scotch ale like this I don't anticipate age to be an issue.

A: Hazy dark brown color with a nice bubbly 1 finger white head that dissipated quickly.

It did leave a moderate amount of nice lacing on my glass as I worked through it.

S: Huge sweet smell of prunes, licorice, and other dark fruits and candied sugars is detectable even as I pour, before I even try to put my nose to the glass for a test.

When I go to my nose I can pick up a little alcohol as well.

T: Taste follows the nose, dark fruits and candied sugar with an alcohol presence. I can definitely pick up on the bourbon-barrel flavors. This is only my second bourbon-barrel aged brew, but the Goose Island Bouron County Stout that I'd had before this had similar charachteristics, so I think that's a good indication that I'm picking up on the *notes* that I should be.

The taste quickly turns from cool, light, and carbonated to full as the dark fruits and candied sugars move in quickly at the middle of the taste. The beer finishes with the distinct sweetness/pucker of bourbon and a warm booziness on the tongue.

M: This beer is well-carbonated and sticky sweet in the mouth, and finishes with a boozy-warm feeling.

D: I think I just don't much care for bourbon-barrel aged beers. This beer has a lot of interesting things going on, but it's just "not for me". A little boozier than I'd like, but it's really that overwhelming bourbon-sweetness that turns me off here. And at 10.2%, you probably wouldn't want to pound several of these in a given night even if you liked it. (1,747 characters)

Photo of BeerInReview
2.99/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: A dark amber in color with a nice thick white head. Nice lacing all the way through as well.
S: Hello alcohol! Bourbon, bourbon, and more bourbon. It's hard to distinguish other aromas when the bourbon is so strong, though I can faintly smell vanilla.
T: A strong bourbon and heavy alcohol punch up front. Harsh! As the fire subsides oak and vanilla flavors are present.
M: Thin...
D: Let me put it this way, I won't be seeking this beer out again.

However...I think the bottle I had was way too young. The alcohol has not settled and melded. It seems to have some good underlying characteristics that may present themselves better in a years time once the alcohol settles down. (682 characters)

Photo of colt45n
3/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a copper red w/ very little head

S: Lots of sweet bourbon smell mixes in with caramel malt

T: similar to nose oak/bourbon flavors, Nice sweet caramel finish. Not very hot in taste. Smooth but complex and put together.

M: Very smooth with small carbonation. Surprisingly smooth without a syrupy feel.

Not to bad considering this is not really a style that Ive ever much enjoyed. (390 characters)

Photo of Jasonclick
3/5  rDev -28.9%

This is my first time having this beer (2014) and I love Bourbon Barrel Aged beers but this one is way too much bourbon. It's pretty much like bourbon that was aged in a beer barrel. No head. Low carb. Served in my Oskar Blues Rocks Glass which looks like a glass you'd drink whiskey from... very fitting. Founders- calm down the bourbon. It takes away from the beer. (367 characters)

Photo of Minkybut
3/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this average brew into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was a strong tea colored affair. The head was non-existent with only a slight tan few bubbles on top. The beer had a slight sour smell but was very carbonated feeling in the mouth. I will not buy this one again. (278 characters)

Photo of ibbjamin
3.02/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Paid $5.99 for a 12oz bottle from Perry's Liquor in Livermore, CA. Poured into a Bruery tulip to review.

Half inch tan head consistent of relatively large sized carbonation bubbles. No retention. Dark raisin brown in color. Minimal lacing.

Aroma is (in order) molasses, caramel malts, brown sugar, bourbon, oak and toffee.

Oak and caramel malt hold up the dominating bourbon flavor. Quite boozy.

Mouth is better carbonated than I was expecting. Alive and even some crispness. Medium body, medium finish of oak and bourbon. Proper drinkability.

With this beer rated quite well, I am beginning to think I should take a break altogether from purchasing bourbon barrel aged beers. This is another example of one that is just too boozy. I guess I like to separate my bourbon and beer drinking habits. (800 characters)

Photo of deebo
3.03/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Keg from 2009.

A-Tan head that sticks. Cloudy brown and dirty looking.

S-Oaky wood aroma is strong. Not much else comes through.

T-Smoked malts predominant, wood/oak, and a definite bourbon taste.

M-Alcohol vapors are very noticeable. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

D-Too much bourbon flavor to make this one more than a sipper for me. Bourbon whiskey lovers will like this one. (393 characters)

Photo of youradhere
3.03/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a ruddy amber with iridescent orange hues; no real head to speak of, some descent but oily looking lacing. I can smell the bourbon bomb from an arms length, so this should be interesting. Upon closer inspection with my nose I detect vanilla and cola, slight oak, and thats about it. Taste is upfront bourbon. Wow. Ok, this is too much for me, but I'll try to judge it fairly based on merit. Vanilla, cola, bourbon, some slight char somewhere in there, but damn, this is like a bourbon cut with a lager, there ain't much else than that. I know others love that sort of thing, but there is no balance there for me. Carbonation is medium and the mouthfeel is thin; body is dry, like a bourbon heavy mixer with coke. I'm giving this an average score, as nothing really stands out in this for me aside from the bourbon. (820 characters)

Photo of Onenote81
3.04/5  rDev -28%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a tawny deep maroon. Very thick and cloudy (yeast?). No light comes through this beer at all. Smells of caramel, chocolate, oak, licorice, molasses. This is a full nose for sure. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, almost chewable. Yet there was a slight crispness to it. Flavor is of syrup, booze, some woodsy notes, and big bourbon smack. This wasn't what I expected at all. Way too boozy and thick for my liking. Interesting beer. (434 characters)

Photo of PEBKAC
3.09/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of the ugly duckling a year or so back. Been settling in my fridge for most of that time. Still managed to deposit all sorts of nasty in my glass though.

Spritzy pour, though not much residual head after the first few seconds. Beer is brown with a cherry tone to it. Slightly hazy, even after everything dropped out of suspension.

Nose is very penetrating. Rich malt, more scotch then bourbon. Anise, rawhide, & a sharp, slightly charred base ale.

Leather & a twiggy bitterness are the most upfront flavors. Licorice, oak, ink, scotch.

Feel is heavy, with decent carbonation, but oh so boozy.

Beer is too overloaded to be enjoyed as more then a novelty. (675 characters)

Photo of mentor
3.1/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Label on my bottle is not the same as that in the picture here. Aged in bourbon barrels, my bottle declares. Pours a finger of light brown head over a hazed and particulated brown/red liquid. Smells mild overall. Oak vanilla, old caramel, clean alcohol,

Tastes nicely tannicked oak with supporting sweet and clean alcohol burn. Not much malt flavor and esters are mild. A bit of fig and some caramel bordering on toffee. Vanilla is tame and some dreid cherry. Acid is a bot stronger than I'd like and a soured character is also distracting. Nice creamy md-thick mouthfeel and too much carbonation for the style. (612 characters)

Photo of KarlHungus
3.13/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours a nearly opaque dark brown color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes quickly into a ring of lacing. The aroma is of strong candy sugar, caramel, bourbon, and wood. It is a very strong aroma, but all the candy sugar makes it seem to lack any sort of complexity. The taste is very malt, as a Scotch Ale should be. It has the same simple candy thing going on as the aroma, and although it is still strong it isn't as dominant as it is in the aroma. Still it makes the taste come across as simple. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with a velvety texture, and moderate carbonation. Overall, this beer is not doing it for me. I'm not sure if extra sugar was added to boost fermentation, and subsequently ABV, but is sure seems like it. And the result is a beer that taste/smells like candy aged in bourbon barrels, instead of Scotch Ale aged in bourbon barrels. I am certain I will not drink this again, and am wondering what I should do with the other three bottles I have. Maybe some of that sugar will mellow out with time. (1,048 characters)

Photo of fscottkey
3.13/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A: [4.00] Deep red to brown beer. The pour produced a 2 finger tan head. The head is tight and dense with uniform bubbles. The bottle lists the brewed date (10/01/2014), the ABV (10.2%) and the IBU (50). Other brewers please take a note from Founders.

S: [3.50] Caramel and bourbon are the scents that I am picking up.

T: [2.75] There is alcohol upfront then smooth bourbon in the middle. The finish is mildly sweet with some breadiness.

M: [3.00] Smooth on the tongue but a fairly heavy alcohol bite.

O: [3.25] This is very alcohol forward in my opinion. The booze and bourbon mute a lot of other flavors. I let it warm before drinking. Perhaps a colder beer would have suppressed the alcohol. I had really high hopes for this - but I think it is just not my thing. (782 characters)

Photo of NODAK
3.14/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

AromaIs extremely sweet. There's an immediate caramel presence there, and a definite dark fruit not as well, most notably cherries. This could pass for candy.

Pours blood red in the glass with a small head.

Taste is extremely malty as would be expected. Very rich caramel and dark fruit is present in abundance along with some serious sugar. This isn't for diabetics. The problem I have is how boozy this is right from the start. It hits right away, like a shot of bourbon is in this beer. And on the finish, it only gathers steam. The ABV is high, but drinks even higher.

So the verdict is that this isn't a favorite beer from Founders for me. Not a big deal, they make plenty other good ones. (697 characters)

Photo of gatornation
3.15/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

the pour is dark brown like a wee heavy should be with a little head and a tan ring with minimal lacing..the smell is caramel and burnt toffee with a big bourbon boozy smell vanilla bean and cream smell..whoa !! the taste is boozy bourbon first so much so i dont taste the toffee and biscuit and caramel of a wee heavy..this is just a bourbon hit first with a whiskey/alcohol taste..just not my thing..the mouth fell is booze first with some caramel and toffee ..i dont know this brew is just not 4 me..so low score on drink ability..is this beer brewed well for the style ..oh yeah because as it warms it does mellow out... i just cant give it high grades for me IMO i will not buy it again. i just feel like im drinking booze instead of a fine craft brew IMO.. but will recommend it to scotch ale lovers with high bourbon notes if thats your likes (849 characters)

Photo of chaz01
3.15/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle that was in my cellar -- no date found on the bottle -- but I believe this was 1-2 years old. Poured into a Founders snifter/tulip glass.

A: Muddy dark brown, thin head recedes quickly.

S: Big notes of bourbon, alcohol and a little rum. That's pretty much all I smell.

T: Starts with a little alcohol and malty sweetness. Some dark fruity flavors mix in with just a bit of tartness. Beer finishes with a little sourness notes.

M: Medium to full bodied, some carbonation provides a tingly feeling in the mouth.

D: Overall a little disappointed -- not sure if the beer just doesn't age well, but the tart sour notes were a bit unpleasant and I would think unintentional. (689 characters)

Photo of wedge
3.18/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a foggy mahogany color with a small, but heavily creamy tan head. Smells like sweet bourbon whiskey...oak and vanilla frosting. Some leather and dark brown sugar too. Super heavy flavor...dark caramel, lots of bourbon, vanilla woodiness, and sugary sweetness. Creamy smooth, heavy, and warming.

Super sweet, lots of whiskey...not as complex as it should be since the bourbon flavors pretty much mask most of the malt. Too sweet to drink more than one. (458 characters)

Photo of DrewV
3.18/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark reddish-amber with a thin 1-finger tan head.

S: Malt up front with some minor vanilla/oaky notes peeking through. Nothing aggressive, but nothing impressive, either.

T: First sip hits you with a blast of sharp bourbony alcoholic bite. Not much "beer" flavor here, just mostly alcohol and sharpness. As the beer warms, the flavors come through a bit more, particularly in the aftertaste, but nothing very fulfilling. Just sweetness, bite, and hints of other flavors mixed in.

M: Adequate carbonation, but lacking in fullness. Mostly just bite.

O: I'm not sure what to do with this brew, quite honestly. I love my beers aggressive, but this one just didn't cut it for me. There just wasn't much beyond the bourbon bite. Not much flavor overall, just "hints" of various other flavors. Perhaps some aging would do wonders for this beer, but I'm not so sure I'm willing to give it another shot quite yet. Above average brew, but nothing more. (949 characters)

Photo of MsRif
3.21/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had bottled after many opportunities to have it on tap. Poured a nice brownish/red color (mahogany). Decent retention, but not great. Lacing was almost non-existent.

Aroma was that of bourbon, oak, smoke and vanilla. Definitely had a warm alcohol burn! Taste was even more bourbon-y. Vanilla, oak and smoke all seemed to be an afterthought. The complexity was not smooth. This was a hard beer to drink, honestly. I don't agree with those who note sweetness...maybe there was a minor amount of sweetness but it was overwhelmed by bourbon flavor.

Mouthfeel was smooth. Medium-bodied beer that went down smoothly aside from the bourbon struggle! Overall, I liked this brew well enough...but the bourbon was just TOO overwhelming! The balance of flavor was not good enough for my taste. Still, I would be willing to try it again...maybe next time, on tap! (854 characters)

Photo of TrevorGW
3.21/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Hazy soft brown. Head retention is pretty weak.

A lot of caramel flavor and aroma here. Dark fruit and oak come through pretty strong on the palette. Sweet and nutty with an abundance of warming alcohol. Finish is a tad harsh.

A flavorful experience... but it is a bit too intensely alcoholy and sweet for me. (311 characters)

Photo of rudylaw
3.22/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer is brown, iced tea-like in color that has a sizeable head.

I get a lot of whiskey upon first sniff and my first taste confirms this. Almost overpowering at first, it does mellow out quite a bit as you continue to drink. Still, it's hard for me to pinpoint other flavors... besides oak.

Overall, somewhat disappointed in this one. Founders does so many beers well, perhaps I'm unfairly holding it up to their stouts. Regardless, one 4-pack is more than enough for me in a season. (491 characters)

Photo of sacullen
3.23/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I love Founders beers! This is the second of only two bottles I have found in the Chicago area. I had the first a couple months ago but did not review it. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark brown that appears a lighter brown when held to the light. About a half inch of head that fades quickly with light/minimal lacing.

S: Smells like whiskey/bourbon. I can smell a bit of vanilla underneath.

T: I taste whiskey/bourbon. I like that part of the taste, but I'm having a hard time tasting any beer behind it. I can *almost* taste something in the finish, but the bourbon remains to extinguish anything else I can identify.

M: Medium mouthfeel with little carbonation. The aftertaste lingers for a few seconds.

D: I think drinkability is very low on this one. I'd rather drink some whiskey or bourbon because that is pretty much all I taste.

As I began, I love Founders brews but this one doesn't do it for me. I find this one interesting because I really love fresh GI BCS. However, the big difference for me is I can taste the beer in BCS but I can't with this one. Maybe it needs more time on it? (1,123 characters)

Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,588 ratings.