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Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,760 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4760
Reviews: 1404
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 10.62%

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:
Scotch Ale aged in bourbon barrels.

(Beer added by: CortexBomb on 01-30-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,760 | Reviews: 1,404 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of millertime5125


4.19/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Absolutely delicious! Had it for lunch and loved the smooth drinking caramel taste and smell. I'm not the most well rounded beer drinker but I will certainly be having this one again with a thick juicy burger. Complements a savory meal perfectly with its semi-heavy, sweet and very drinkable qualities. Brilliant work Founders!

Serving type: on-tap

03-21-2014 16:42:09 | More by millertime5125
Photo of Bubba569


4.85/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had it at Founder's Brewery! The perfect place to taste a near perfect brew!!
Look - Had a small whitish head not long lasting at all.
Smell - Oh my...great mouth watering sweet caramel & bourbon aroma.
Tast - Heaven in your mouth...a lot like Sweet Repute but with more of a Oak "Backwoods" aftertaste, caramelly with a lasting bourbon finish!
Mouth feel - Awesome long lasting sweet, smooth Bourbon taste that coats your pallet.
Overall - Outstanding beer that you'll be sad when it's gone! Founder's did it again!

Serving type: on-tap

03-16-2014 17:58:02 | More by Bubba569
Photo of gangstafaceclay


4.95/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I finally got my hands on this brew that I've been dying to try at a local bar/restaurant and I was my disappointed.

Smell- oak, coco, Carmel, bourbon

Taste- wow..I was blown away, like the nose oak, Carmel, coco, some vanilla, smokiness, scotch. One of the best tasting brews I've had, hands down.

Mouthfeel- full bodied and smooth with some creaminess. So good.

Overall- this was exceeded my expectations..so complex and tasty..I didn't want to stop drinking it. Definitely one of my favorites.

Serving type: on-tap

03-15-2014 02:33:21 | More by gangstafaceclay
Photo of Stev0supreemo


4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: If the thin, tan, two-fingered head hadn't dissipated so quickly, I'd give this beer a straight 5 on appearance. It displays a dark amber with an unusual amount of red. I generally don't care for appearance but this beer makes me feel otherwise.

Smell: Bourbon bourbon bourbon. Another reviewer mentioned candied nuts, which I would agree with. Caramel, but with a special quality I can't identify but smells familiar. Dark fruits. Slightly estery.

Taste: Your met with more bourbon and a warm, alcoholic finish that's not overbearing. I would say, however, that they push the bourbon just a bit too much. Cherries. Caramel. Some banana.

Mouthfeel: they definitely made the right choice keeping the carbonation low. This beer is thick. Very syrupy; a real treat for cold winter months.

Overall: another great example of the quality brewer's setting up shop in my homestate. Founder's is world class. And although I wouldn't call this beer world class, its an example of the innovation and quality they're known for. Honestly, if they toned down the bourbon just every so slightly, I'd be singing it's praises even more than I already am.

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2014 17:37:02 | More by Stev0supreemo
Photo of don1481


4.16/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap here at Stubbys in MKE. Got the very last one - keg blew right as this finished pouring onto a globe.

Appearance: Pours a caramelish color with a nice head that retains for a couple minutes.

Smell: chocolate. Little bit of booze. Luxurious. Yeah, that's a good word for this.

Taste: slightly boozy, definitely not obnoxiously so. Chocolatey, caramel, melts in your mouth taste.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth. Oh, so smooth. Right up there with the Skull Splitter in this department.

Overall: very nice. Wish they didn't run out here, but happy I got to review it!!

Serving type: on-tap

01-21-2014 23:45:40 | More by don1481
Photo of LambicPentameter


4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Bier Station in Kansas City. Poured into a small Belgian tulip glass.

Appearance - Body is a dark maroon and burgundy with some reddish clay right around the edge of the bottom of the glass. Atop the dark slightly hazy-looking body sits a half-finger (if that) head the color of cappuccino foam, but not nearly as dense as cappuccino foam. Density is silky and thin, with a couple of giant air bubbles from the pour. Lacing is pretty much nonexistent--just a spitting of small foam splatters intermittently around the glass.

Smell - Hard to draw much out other than generic toasted malt at first, but as it warms, the aroma becomes more detectible. Taking a few deep inhales to get the full sense, I get pleasant notes of french vanilla, dulce de leche, roasting marshmallow, lightly toasted malt and some rye-like spiciness. Very pleasant and complex, but far from overbearing. Makes me reluctant to drink it, lest I ruin the wonderful balance of the smell.

Taste - More forceful than the aroma, but still restrained in a really good way. Caramelized sugar, light peat, roasted malt, pinch of black pepper, vanilla, brandy and scotch whisky are all essences I get a sense from in the taste. The predominant notes are from the vanilla and whisky, but it's wonderfully blended. It's amazing just how much variance there can be from one barrel-aged beer to the next. Some are harsh and astringent, like booze was just directly added to the beer, and other times, they come together beautifully in a way that brings to mind a fine strong liquor that is meant to be consumed in a straightforward manner. This one is definitely the latter.

Mouthfeel -Medium-bodied and low carbonation with a sweet and just barely smokey finish.

Overall, this is yet another home run from Founders. I love how they have stellar beers all over their lineup--some in the year-round, some in the seasonal, some in the specialty or limited releases--I could name several that I just love, and this one is no different. A really tasty take on a style that doesn't seem terribly widespread amongst American brewers.

Serving type: on-tap

01-03-2014 04:57:29 | More by LambicPentameter
Photo of KVNBGRY


4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Brilliant mahogany, 1/2 finger full almond head, spotty lacing.

Aroma - Sweet bourbon, banana bread, vanilla.

Taste - Follows the nose, with a drying woody factor replacing the banana bread. It's nutty, malty, and hides the alcohol.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, low to medium carbonation.

Overall - Fairly complex, delicious, rich, malty, sweet with flavors mixing well.

Serving type: on-tap

12-12-2013 04:07:13 | More by KVNBGRY
Photo of martyl1000


4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

8/9/13 (update is below)
On tap at Merchant, Madison, for a Founders Great Taste of the Midwest Preparty.. Perhaps this score has taken a bit of a hit b/c I'm so disappointed in being turned away at the door -- I forgot Merchant takes reservations, and even at 5:30 with 3/4 of the restaurant empty, we can't get a table. HOWEVER, my wife and mother in law have cut me loose so I can at least get one beer at the bar.

Also sadly, they're already out of KBS (no surprise) and Doom. At least I've got a beautiful tulip glass full of Backwoods Bastard and a taste of Rubaeus.

The beer is too cold to be judged, and I've got to rejoin my people several blocks away in 15 min. Damn. This isn't an ideal scenario.

There's almost no aroma. I'm warming it w/ my hands.

Reminds me of Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barley wine. Oh man, its warming up. The butterscotch and fig are emerging in the mouth. But the aroma is still rather tame.

Damn, I've gotta go. Chug a lug.

On tap at Dexter's, Madison. Another Founders tap takeover is a beautiful thing. And to get to take my time with this on, even better. Dexter's serves half-pours in these handsome little snifters. I'm drinking this alongside a half-snifter of Devil Dancer. What an awesome combo.

This pour is a beauty: dark-coppery brown w/ high clarity and a fluffy off-white head.

In the nose first you get ripe cherry--a big old waft of cherry that's just really remarkable. Then bourbon and buttery caramel and a bit of umami and vanilla that's somewhat sickeningly sweet.

Surprisingly roasty-sweet malt first on the front of the tonuge. Then that stone fruit from the aroma coats the mouth, with booze and hop bitterness in the finish

Near-syrup viscosity, and a bit of alcohol warmth in the throat, with mild-to-moderate carbonation.

Serving type: on-tap

11-10-2013 19:24:14 | More by martyl1000
Photo of GreesyFizeek

New York

4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Old Toad in Rochester, NY, for their Bourbon and Blues night.

Pours a dark brown, clear-ish color. Somewhat hazy. Half inch head, a small amount of visible carbonation. Not much lacing.

Smells like bourbon, some cocoa, and vanilla.

Tastes incredible. So smooth and sultry- Lots of bourbon flavor, without any alcohol burn. Very subtle, smooth, and sweet. Additional flavors of molasses, caramel coconut, vanilla, and cocoa.

Medium-full mouthfeel, low but present carbonation.

A truly exceptional scotch ale/wee heavy. Founder brought the big guns here.

Serving type: on-tap

11-09-2013 17:16:12 | More by GreesyFizeek
Photo of Axnjxn

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

on tap at sams in Durham. 2011 version poured in 2013, into a shaker.

dark brown, nice head. the aroma is MASSIVE on chocolate, marshmellows and bourbon. its amazing. taste isn't quite as amazing, good bourbon flavor with a tad of sour/tartness. interesting. its got quite a mellow and smooth flavor. aging has done this nicely. full bodied for sure, sipper.

overall excellent. loved it.

Serving type: on-tap

08-17-2013 17:53:44 | More by Axnjxn
Photo of pjkelley82

New York

4.9/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I had the chance to have the 2011 version on tap at a founders event by me. On 6/12/13

Was poured in a 8oz short shot looking glass...

Appearance was dark brown with pretty much no head, slight lacing but nearly none.

Smell was phenomenal. Definitely smelled the barrel age in there but everything blended well together.. you can smell the alcohol but nothing off putting.

Taste was phenomenal as well... very smooth with minimal carbonation but definitely a sipper. Not like any wee heavy I've tried... all the characteristics are there but with that aged Bourbon kinda feel.

Overall.... I cannot judge this on the current or year of backwoods bastard because I had one that was 2 old. I would say the one I had was absolutely phenomenal and if your into Scotch ale's/wee heavys than definitely seek out an aged one, specifically founders, and you will love it as well...I am gonna buy a 4 pack and age them as well... see how they turn out in a few years.

Serving type: on-tap

06-13-2013 02:45:01 | More by pjkelley82
Photo of Oakenator


4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep brown to amber-red. Minimal head. Minimal lacing.

S: Bourbon barrel present up front. Sweet, malty nose - honey.

T: Sweet malt flavor up front, bourbon dominates the back with some alcohol definitely present.

M: Definitely one for sipping.

O: Great brew and really enjoyable in moderation.

Serving type: on-tap

06-04-2013 21:40:32 | More by Oakenator
Photo of Alextricity


4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the World Expo of Beer in Frankenmuth, Michigan.

Appearance: Darkness. A few bubbles on top, no lacing, and just a pitch black beer -- about what I expected this beer to look like.

Smell: Huge scotch and oak aromas... maybe some dark sort of chocolate malt notes, but mainly oaky scotch.

Taste: A couple people I was with claimed it tasted like liquid smoke and dumped it out, but I quite enjoyed this one -- it tastes almost exactly like it smells. It drinks almost like straight scotch with some warming on the finish, but there isn't a HUGE alcohol sort of flavor. The finish is also woody with some dark chocolate and malt to round it all out.

Quite good, and I think it's awesome that Founders chose to put some truly great stuff on-tap at the World Expo of Beer.

Serving type: on-tap

05-19-2013 17:00:21 | More by Alextricity
Photo of BrianScottK

New York

4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It was about a month ago I tried this, so I can't be too explicit, but it certainly left an impression. Caramel and toffee flavors without "unnecessary" over-sweetness of similar brews of this ilk. Smooth and creamy with a nice, tan head.

I definitely want to try this one again.

Serving type: on-tap

04-07-2013 01:32:04 | More by BrianScottK
Photo of Dagger541


4.84/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer was first tried by a friend and I on a chilly Sunday afternoon in-between two music event that we were attending. It was an excellent choice all around. It has and great color and smell and was served in a sniffer glass. It is a sipping beer that will warm you right up. If you think of a scotch ale aged in a bourbon barrel you will have an idea about what this beer tastes like. If you enjoy their Dirty Bastard and you are a fan of whiskey this is a great beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-03-2013 16:08:30 | More by Dagger541
Photo of doppelmeup

North Carolina

5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I absolutely loved this beer. Had it on tap on two separate occasions, and wish I could find some in bottles.

Great notes of malt, vanilla and bourbon in the nose, and the taste is more than I ever hoped for. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Sweet without being cloying. Bourbon flavors perfectly compliment the scotch ale, resulting in one of the best beers I've ever had.

Warning though - the 10.2% ABV will kick you in the N**ts!

I say - if you ever see this, buy it!!

Serving type: on-tap

02-05-2013 17:12:43 | More by doppelmeup
Photo of Beer-A-Lot


4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Birch.

A - Raspberry / bronze color. Nice head.

S - Hints of yeast.

T - Bitter tasting but still appealing. Gets better as it warms up. Probably not as smooth as Dirty Bastard, but a nice change from that if you're looking for more spiciness. Alcohol retty well in background.

M - Nice mouthfeel, medium bodied.

O - A really good beer, but what's new whenh it comes to Founders? I think they might have something there.

Serving type: on-tap

01-17-2013 21:57:49 | More by Beer-A-Lot
Photo of rangerred


4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap.

Arrived with a clear dark brown body with no head at all.

Aroma is nearly all bourbon and the characteristics that go along with it. Lots of vanilla, caramel, and wood.

The bourbon continues over to the flavor but it is very smooth and quite sweet; not harsh in the least. Caramel and vanilla dominate along with some pleasant fruitiness. Alcohol is pretty well hidden considering the strength of this beer.

Overall, if you like bourbon you will absolutely love this beer. The flavors mesh perfectly and the mouthfeel is just right; full but not too sweet. A really amazing beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2012 20:03:23 | More by rangerred
Photo of jsprain1


4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Tawny brown. Head is thin, and off white. Lasts fairly well and good lacing.
S- Smell is basically two pronged: boozey whiskey and milk chocolate. I can't pull much else out but those are two nice aromas.
T- More of the same here. Booze is strong right away, actually just a hint too boozy. The finish is long-lasting and very chocolatey.
M- I was looking for a bit more carbonation, as it fell a bit flat on the tongue. Good body weight behind this beer however.
O- Overall a very good beer. Definitely an offbeat beer I wouldn't drink everyday, but it's fun and different.

Serving type: on-tap

12-17-2012 03:40:38 | More by jsprain1
Photo of StonedTrippin


4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

super different for a beer in this genre. it pours a slightly cloudy pale amber color, with a dense nearly pure white head, lots of lacing left behind as it sips down. the nose is a little fruity, a lot boozy, and entirely different again from most scotch ales. its too light. the taste is awesome, like a tasty hybrid of licorice and fresca soda, thats what i taste. more fruit than ever for a scotch, and the same effervescent carbonation as that artificial grapefruit flavored soda pop. its really good, but i am missing that smoke and hefty malt base ive grown used to in these beers. anyone else get that? bright bubbling medium body, again too light for the style, but this is a damn good beer. living up to its name for all the wrong reasons, this is something unique and to be cherished. i never in a million years would have put uts abv over 10% on a blind tasting, its far too delicate to be that potent, but it all seems to work out just right. on tap at j. ryans in syracuse, a place you must visit as a beer enthusiast. what a treat from founders!

Serving type: on-tap

12-04-2012 04:55:27 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of Optifron


4.83/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyued 11/18/2012 during Founders day at Crane Alley in Urbana, IL

Appearance: Dark rust colored. A little hazy. Creamy tan head.

Aroma: Bourbon, wood, bit of vanilla. Malt hiding in there.

Taste: Good god. Amazing. Huge hit of vanilla. Mellow bourbon and wood added to thick malty sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly velvety, smooth and sweet. Very little carbonation.

Overall: Just amazing BA scotch ale. Leaves me pretty warm in the throat.

Serving type: on-tap

11-28-2012 22:04:36 | More by Optifron
Photo of NilocRellim


4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap in a 10oz pour. Had a hazy brown/ruby tint. Poured a yellowish/tan head that slowly faded down. The smell had a maple syup nose to it. We sat with a couple of friends that thought it had a strong whiskey smell, but we thought it was on par with most scotch ales. the ale was fairly complex and went through multiple flavour changes. It started off with a sweet maple flavour, which faded bitter and then finished sweet and scotchy. Aftertaste notes of fig or almond which lingered nicely on the palate.

Would I buy it again? Yes.

Serving type: on-tap

11-25-2012 05:25:02 | More by NilocRellim
Photo of AJacob81


4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on-tap into a tulip 11.13.12 @ Jak's Tap in da West Loop. From notes.

A - mahogany brown, deep amber highlights w a creamy off white head of 1 finger. great legs, patchy lacing.

S - big oaky bourbon straight away, brown sugar and vanilla in after. peat and a hint of smoke just detectable underneath it all. As usual for Founders, a top-notch bouquet.

T - closely follows the nose w brown sugar and peat more enhanced. alcohol heat picks up as beer warms but smooth port, sherry, rum-soaked raisins and melted butter as well. finish is lingering and caramel sweet but not cloying.

M - medium body, medium carbonation. smooth, dangerously easy drinking.

Worth the hype, but I really wish this was easier to get in bottles.

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2012 21:02:49 | More by AJacob81
Photo of Flounder57


4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Having on draft at the Union Brewhouse in Weymouth, MA.

Appearance: This beer poured a small head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a ruby red mahogany color with a little bit of clarity.

Smell and Taste: Bourbon, caramel, vanilla, spices, maltiness, boozy alcohol, oak, and warming deliciousness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, low to medium carbonation, full bodied, warming alcohol, and silky.

Overall: Pretty solid beer. You can't go wrong with anything barrel aged, especially bourbon. This beer rocks.

Serving type: on-tap

11-20-2012 05:26:13 | More by Flounder57
Photo of jtd1969

North Carolina

4.83/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark Brown, hazy with some redness tint. Good Lacing on the glass.

S - Bourbon on the nose and with some caramel and sweet

T - Bourbon notes through out with caramel and vanilla, toffee, molasses. Delicious.

M - Very smooth. Low carbonation, but perfect for beer. Alcohol was hidden for the most part. It was medium to full bodied.

O - Was so delighted I was able to enjoy this beer. The bourbon was there but did not overpower this beer. I recommend this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

09-05-2012 02:28:04 | More by jtd1969
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Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 4,760 ratings.