Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard

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1,581 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,581
Hads: 7,046
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 901
Gots: 2,507 | FT: 245
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
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Reviews: 1,581 | Hads: 7,046
Photo of RStaff4
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

-Aged 6 months from cellar into snifter-

A: Black with tints of mahogany when the glass is spun a bit. Minimal head

S: Bourbon is at the forefront, lots of alcohol. Vanilla is in the background

T: On the sweeter side, sugar and caramel, with hints of vanilla. Finished with delicious roasted malts.

F: Very creamy, almost frothy feel on the palate.

Overall: The power in this is in the initial aroma. Not as much bourbon as you would expect in the taste, which I don't mind. Very drinkable scotch ale. (509 characters)

Photo of Skwalk47
3.37/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gave it a couple shots spread out over time and I just cant get into it. Wayy too much booze on both the nose and the taste. Once you get past the booze there are some nice notes hidden underneath but they are completely overwhelmed. The smell reminds me of a jack and coke. Taste is overwhelming booze then a decent bourboney finish. Will try to keep a couple in the cellar and see how it mellows with age... (410 characters)

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

Poured from a bottle to a nonic glass

L: Dark ruby with a tan, somewhat creamy head. Bit cloudy.

S: Very bourbony; lots of wood and vanilla and ethanol. Mild hit of rye and malt at the end. Little bit of caramel in the middle.

T: Creamy caramel and sweet. slightly Malty. Reminds me of a good caramel candy. Rye and dark dried fruit in the middle. Clean, slightly bitter ending with light hops.

F: Creamy and smooth; almost unctuous. On the light end of heavy.

O: This ended up being a mild whale for me and I'm not disappointed. It's special and robust and worth the hunt! I look forward to seeing it next year! (617 characters)

Photo of letsdrink
3.99/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A – Pours a dark copper color with a reddish tint
S – Definitely Bourbon scented. Sweet scents of caramel as well.
T – Sweet, malty, caramel flavors, but most of all there is an unsurprisingly strong bourbon flavor. Surprisingly sweet and not much unexpected about this beer. Not very hoppy. The bottle says 50 IBU, but the taste would appear there is even less.
M – A reasonably light beer for something so potent. However, it feels as if the sweetness has thickened up the beer. Medium to high carbonation for a beer in its class.
O – This is a very good beer. The place where I picked it up had a limited release so I was expecting a lot from this one. I am not sure I would go out of my way to make sure I get a bottle the next time it is release, but it is certainly worth trying. (803 characters)

Photo of Alex-Alkis
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The color is almost black but with some burgundy shades. The foam is one finger high. The aroma is strong with vanilla and bourbon. The taste is sharp and sweet. Lots of vanilla and butterscotch. The finish is a bit smoky, which I personally like. It also cuts of the alcohol well. A very complex and strong ale. What I especially like about this beer is that you can really feel that it has been aged in bourbon barrels, both in taste and in the aroma. (453 characters)

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 12 ounce bottle into a stemless wine glass.

Oatmeal colored head a finger thick, looks creamy and substantial. Body is dark amber with excellent clarity when held to light. 4.5

Oaken, bourbon-heavy, and bright caramel and vanilla. Rye notes are apparent. 4.25

Tastes of scotch and bourbon. Peaty and rich with caramel. Toasted bread notes appear and add some richness. 4

Highly creamy but still has the body of a bourbon or whiskey and similar carbonation. Alcohol burn is there but not offensive and leads to a dry finish that reminds me of sipping a heavier spirit. 4

I like this brew, but I feel the bourbon is too dominant and doesn't allow the beer to shine. (676 characters)

Photo of Barnoloid
4.73/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The color is a deep red/caramel tone with a thin-medium creamy head. Oaky and caramel, english toffee notes dominate the nose. The base beer, Dirty Bastard, is a classic Founders offering but this barrel aged version ramps up the flavor profile to 11. There are blended tones of vanilla, cherry/dried fruit and rich caramel all adding up to a complex, deep, woody ale. A phenomenal beer that shows incredible restraint on the booziness - this strikes me as one to enjoy fresh. Such complexity that demands your attention at each sip. Goes down smoothly, with a balanced body that has the perfect full feel without being sticky or too thick. (640 characters)

Photo of DonovanD
4.91/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Found 2 4 packs in Nebraska in late December of all places. I'm assuming this beer is even better closer to the source. What can I say... One of the best winter beers money can buy. (181 characters)

Photo of powpig2002
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First one was good. Next night better. 3rd one...out fuckin standing. Took a couple to really appreciate what's going on. One per session for me. Will be grabbing this whenever it is seen. Glad I couldn't get a single. Wouldn't have given it a second thought. (259 characters)

Photo of swedishmailman
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a fat tulip.

Appearance is a dark copper that has a slight ruby color when held up to the light. Light tan head that is relatively thin, but sticking around for awhile. Tight bubbles. No light is getting through. Looks inviting.

Aroma is sweet malt, a slight earthy tone, some vanilla, a bit of a fig smell. I get a bit of the bourbon character because I know this is aged in bourbon barrels, but it doesn't scream barrel aged.

Taste is delicious. Huge malt character. It's got a nice butterscotch flavor on the back end. The barrel character shines through here much more than in the aroma. Slight alcohol burn on the finish but nothing overwhelming. Not too boozy at all. A slight warming sensation comes pleasantly with every sip. It's got a pretty sweet finish. No hop character that I can pick up whatsoever.

Mouthfeel is medium-heavy. It's not the thickest beer I've ever drank, but definitely has a syrupy feel to it, especially as it warms up.

Overall this is a damn good beer. It doesn't have an insanely huge barrel character, but it definitely adds to the beer perfectly. One of the better offerings I've had from Founders. (1,151 characters)

Photo of FrostyFoster72
4.79/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

It's basically a badass version of their Dirty Bastard (which is great). Bourbon is definitely the front runner on the nose and taste, but absolutely no bad tastes! Smooth my bros, smooth! (188 characters)

Photo of clager
3.48/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Not bad but the high alcohol content is overcompensated for by too much sweetness resulting in a syrupy beer that leaves some hoppiness or other flavor to be desired. (166 characters)

Photo of Boozermurfin
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Yes. Incredible.
L - reddish brown, 1 inch head no lacing, minimal head retention
S - Smells big time of bourbon & caramel, some oak, alcohol, sweetness (maybe fig, vanilla extract)
T - definitely boozy, but rightfully so at 10.2 with only 50 IBU. Smooth, velvety, oaky
Could be dried out a little more IMO.
F - sticks to the roof of my mouth, but appropriately creamy for a scotch ale.
O - love it. really, really, delicious sipper. Suppose there's some minor improvements to be had, but fricking delicious. A celebration of big beer! (538 characters)

Photo of Sandalwood
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The color is a very dark red burgundy shade with a small tannish head, not much lacing. The beer seems cloudy with floating sediments. The odor is bourbon, dark berry, cherry, woods, sweet, very rich, fig, dried fruits, dates. The taste is dried fruits, dates, malt, sweet, berry. Dry but not very bitter a aftertaste. Aged a few months before trying. (356 characters)

Photo of JamGrover1983
4.14/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle presence is strong. Can definately smell the alcohol and berry woody notes at the spout of the bottle. Initially poured about 2 ounces in a snifter. The color is rich and with full body. Upon initial swirl again the booze eminates strong but there is a very rich oak smell. The head is full but quickly dissipates as expected with the high alcohol content. The thickness of the beer is impressive and hold well to the glass. The temperature at taste is about 45 degrees Fahrenheit and this is where I feel the beer is at its best. Has a great mouth feel and the aging of the beer really shows through. The taste is super crisp and bites like a good whiskey. Over the course of an hour the drink warms but holds up well. Overall it makes for an overall enjoyable experience. There is a little room for improvement as the color muddied a bit as it warms , but I do enjoy this beer. Founders rarely disappoints me and this one holds up strong. (947 characters)

Photo of Will_cigars-n-brews
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this has always been a go to winter beer for me. This year it has a very creamy mouth feel, coats the mouth a lot though. Tastes good, but has a little bit of a banana taste to it. otherwise, it's still a favorite cold weather beer (231 characters)

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Looks great in the glass, smells like almost pure bourbon...taste has that similar twang that all befell KBS as well: where the bourbon seems to be somehow applied on top of the beer instead of a part of it, reaching an almost buttery flavor that almost puts you off, but not quite. (282 characters)

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

Reddish brown hue with vanilla and bourbon in the aroma. Tastes of bourbon, vanilla, and oak with a touch of heat on the finish. I've never been a huge fan of any aging but this one works well. Nicely done Founders! (218 characters)

Photo of breakingbland
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is an excellent bourbon barrel aged beer. The oak/vanilla/bourbon is somewhat downplayed compared to others that I've tried which often come across as cloyingly sweet. This been lets the underlying beer come through. (221 characters)

Photo of JohnnyI
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As an initial foray in to the beer review community, what better brewery to start with than Founders? And what better selection than 2014 Backwoods Bastard? Admittedly, I am a little partial due to the fact that I grew up in metro Detroit, and was spoiled with the likes of world class breweries such as Founders and Bells. Now that I am living in South Carolina, I can appreciate their genius even more. Well it's Monday night.... what better way to usher in tedious Tuesday morning meetings than a midnight Wee Heavy that clocks in at 10.2%! I have tried many other Scotch Ales (Orkney, Old Chub, Innis & Gunn, McEwans, and more) but this one raises the bar for me. Dirty Bastard was always a favorite, but the barrel aging of this masterpiece sets it apart. The bourbon notes perfectly marry with the sweet caramel malts creating a warm and especially inviting beer. This is not for the faint of heart though. I would call it dangerously drinkable for those that can enjoy the aroma & warmth of bourbon and appreciate the syrupy splendor of sweet Scotch Ale. Give it to your friend that drinks Blue Moon and watch them recoil in horror. Share with an afficianado of spirits and you might find a convert. Best enjoyed in the company of a true Beer Advocate. This is simply too good to trifle with those that cannot appreciate it's perfection. (1,344 characters)

Photo of larryarms847
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a rusty brown with soft red hues and a very appealing single finger of lathery foam.

Caramel, bourbon, vanilla, and oak.

Oh my! Tons of vanilla, presumably from the bourbon barrels, of course (delicious) notes of bourbon, woody, caramel malts, and toffee.

Medium-bodied, low-medium carbonation, warming, and smooth as hell.

Overall, my favorite Founders brew second to KBS. (383 characters)

Photo of Jaxbrew
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 vintage. Really nice barrel influence on this to have such a presence after more than a year's aging. Nice cherry/plum flavors and hints of vanilla from the oak. (166 characters)

Photo of CraigP83
4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Dark Brown, Lightly Carbonated.
Odor: Caramel, Whiskey, Charred Oak
Taste: Reminds me of drinking a Rootbeer & Windsor, There is a light fizz that dances on your tongue, coffee syrup aftertaste. (206 characters)

Photo of mabermud
4.29/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: Deep and dark
Smell: Sweetness + bouron
Taste: Good balance. A weaker Wulver.
Feel: Low carb.
Overall: Wulver is better...I would take either, but prefer Wulver. (177 characters)

Photo of TheItalianStallion
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz poured into a tulip

A: Pours a bright amber that is very similar to bourbon or whiskey in color. Dense 2 finger head that dissipates after a minute or 2 to a thin collar. There are only a few spots of lacing randomly dotting the glass.

S: Caramel right up front with a good amount of oak and bourbon notes. Big aromas of toffee and brown sugar blend everything together perfectly.

T: Sweet flavors of bourbon and caramel dominate with a solid oakiness on the finish. Toffee and brown sugar are also there, but nowhere near as pronounced as the bourbon and caramel flavors. The bourbon takes center stage in this beer and is one of the main flavors, as opposed to faintly existing in the background. Alcohol is masked well, but becomes evident as the beer warms.

M: Body is medium-full with low carbonation and a smooth mouthfeel. Alcohol is only really detectable on the finish as the beer warms.

O: This is a very interesting beer with an amazing aroma of caramel and big bourbon flavors that are a major part of everything. There is definitely some oak on the finish, but it is not overwhelming and is the perfect touch. This is a great beer, but personally I would like it more if the bourbon was slightly less pronounced. Nonetheless, it is a fantastic beer and now I am regretting only buying a single 12oz. (1,325 characters)

Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,581 ratings.