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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: 7,068
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 913
Gots: 2,526 | 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: 7,068
Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

this beer causes conflict within myself. Its a very well crafted beer, great tasting but an absolute brutal bully of a beer, even compared to the founder KBS, which is stronger but more drinkable. I dare not try more than one in an evening due to past experiences doing so, seriously, drink more than 2 of these and you are in big trouble! that being said, its still one of my favourites, especially as a sipper on a cold winter night . when used in moderation and drank slowly its a revelation, but drink with caution, the bourbon can sometimes be a little overpowering,but im aging some to see if that mellows it out a bit, but all in all its a great beer. (658 characters)

Photo of nucloid
1.81/5  rDev -57.1%
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. (233 characters)

Photo of MUTINY
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
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. (165 characters)

Photo of TheElectricOne
4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (870 characters)

Photo of Get_Lowell
3.84/5  rDev -9%
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. (488 characters)

Photo of maxifunk777
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A good beer not a great beer. It's place in my cellar it's a beer I will drink when I don't want to drink one of my A or A+ beers knowing its an enjoyable B beer. (163 characters)

Photo of EMV
4.81/5  rDev +14%
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. (905 characters)

Photo of Octavarium77
4.99/5  rDev +18.2%
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. (201 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
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. (424 characters)

Photo of Plower
1.72/5  rDev -59.2%
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. (591 characters)

Photo of HowardTheDuck
4.06/5  rDev -3.8%
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. (625 characters)

Photo of Catracho5
4.46/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (806 characters)

Photo of sweet-maltman_1
4.94/5  rDev +17.1%
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. (575 characters)

Photo of mchegash
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (1,248 characters)

Photo of Gr8Stouts
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
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. (169 characters)

Photo of KM_Seahawk
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
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. (484 characters)

Photo of von_kaiser
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
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! (169 characters)

Photo of MacMalt
4.81/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of my all time favorites! I sip this one on special occasions, especially when celebrating success at work and wins by my favorite teams! I go to great lengths to purchase as much as I can. (195 characters)

Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.79/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

5th tasting of the evening. Smell is bourbon and oak, burnt malt, taste follows with hints of vanilla and coconut. This bastard is smoo-oo-oo-ooth. Too smooth. This is sneaky smooth (181 characters)

Photo of arizcards
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a single from TW Arrowhead in late November for $4.49. Bottled on 9/26/14.

Beer poured reddish-brown with a small head that dissipated quickly.

Nose is oak and booze with vanilla sweetness.

Taste is vanilla, oak, bourbon, caramel, toffee, with a decent amount of hopping so that it is not cloying.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth.

Overall this is a delicious brew. I love subtly barreled brews and this one is very well done at a very reasonable price. Another master crafted brews from the Founders team! (529 characters)

Photo of Bone53
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ Mad Mex

Appearance: Ruby brown with a finger of beige head

Smell: The oaky, vanilla bourbon barrel qualities meld great with the sweet caramel and toffee malt notes

Taste: Sweet caramel and toffee notes upfront then the vanilla and oak from the barrels really shine.

Mouthfeel: Full body; Really coats the palate going down, with thin alcohol and moderate bitterness on the finish

Overall: Really a wonderful beer, especially during these winter months. The sweet malts compliment the bournon barrel quailities very well. I dont know if this is what i imagine the perfect BBA scotch ale to be, but its damn close. The warmer it got the higher i rated it (667 characters)

Photo of TBonez477
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle received in trade. Drinking very smooth.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Drank fresh on tap, increased ratings accordingly. (181 characters)

Photo of snaotheus
4.19/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015-02-27
12oz bottle split between a couple Georgetown samplers.

Pours cloudy brown with a small head. Smell is delicious bourbon. Yeast and alcohol.

Taste is sweet, malty, bourbon and alcohol. Very nice. Oaky and smoky.

Mouthfeel is smooth and clean. Overall, quite good. (277 characters)

Photo of SierraFlight
3.68/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into nonic. Clear dark ruby/amber with two finger khaki foamy head. Lacing all the way down. Smells of coconut, dark fruits, vanilla, and wood. No obvious bourbon notes. Flavor is malty and sweet with more coconut, vanilla, booze, caramel, and wood. Slight hop bitterness on the swallow. Medium bodied, creamy, low carbonation, and a touch thin. (357 characters)

Photo of mick303
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2014 vintage, bottled in October, enjoyed in February. Poured a dark ruby brown, with a large initial tan brown head leaving great lacing and a nice retention on the film.

S - wow, this is some degree of wonderful. Rich velvety dark fruits, raisin, dates, molasses, and licorice, mixed with some sweet bourbon vanilla, dark brown sugar, notes of earthy/leathery notes and hints of the malty strength, but the alcohol is hidden. Rich and captivating.

T - again sublimely rich but also so balanced. Rich spice notes, molasses, cinnamon, some ginger maybe? coconut and chocolate, and a huge thick oaky and bourbon character, lots of vanilla to match. Some brown sugar, rum spiciness, with some robust maltiness, and an underlying caramel, not very sweet but flows throughout the beer with a nice even keel of caramelized malt. Bitterness works really well to keep this in proportion, this mixes rich christmas cake and an earthy dunnage warehouse, with lots of bourbon and vanilla. The proportions are fantastic and this is ridiculously easy to drink with hardly any hints of alcohol and a captivating flavour profile. Satisfying.

M - rich, malty and caramel body, big, with an even moderate carbonation, not overly sticky on the palate, but has gentle hints, delivers and then sticks around with a long vanilla/caramel aftertaste.

Any praise this beer gets would struggle to do it justice. It is phenomenal. From the aroma to the aftertaste it is a captivating, thrilling experience and keeps the alcohol so well in proportion with the bourbon and malt flavours. It is unbelievable pleasant and easy to drink, suited well to a cold winter night, and I beer I will be making a concerted effort to acquire more of. A delight! (1,725 characters)

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