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Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

6,030 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,030
Reviews: 1,486
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 10.6%
Wants: 735
Gots: 1,898 | FT: 172
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: 6,030 | Reviews: 1,486 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An honor to finally try this beer. I'm a huge fan of Bourbon barrel aged beers. Needless to say I have high expectaitons here after striking gold with everything else that Founders makes.

A sturdy and stead pour brings about deep mohogany and medium brown colors with a significant haze. An initial 1/2" head of dense off-white head falls to half that and remains firm from then on. A nice Belgian lace persists on the sides of the glass as the beer fades.

In Kentucky, we are used to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday Bourbon Balls. This delicate desert is very well exhibited in this beer. The aroma is chocked full of deep bourbony and cocoa aromas. Here, the maltiness doesn't end with the grains, but a malted milk note persists and inhances the intrigue. Just from the nose, this is one inviting beer.

Intense flavors of strong malts, deep chocolates, medium coffees and nuts, and bourbon-soaked fruits make for a great, great taste. Low on hop flavoring, the malts dominate here. Absolute delicious blend of molassas sweetness, bourbon undertones, cocoa, and mild campfire-ish notes make for a very well rounded and complex taste.

The body of the beer, once again, favors the malts but is well balanced with deep alcohols, fruitcake breadiness, and rich creaminess (again, like the malted milk thing- think Whopper candies soaked in bourbon). No phenolics or sharp alcohols, this beer is very well textured.

As far as Scottish Ales are concerned, this one is light on the peat and smokey notes. It emphasized the rich malty flavors and textures without becomming overly sweet. Combine all this with the robust chocolate and bourbon notes and we have a perfect desert beer for a Kentuckian.

Thanks RyanC84!

BEERchitect, Jul 29, 2009
Photo of MIbeer27
4.68/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 ounce bottle, dated 10/07/2014

The bottle pours a deep brown hue (brownish red when held to the light) with a one finger, off-white head that quickly dissipates. Carbonation bubbles slowly up the side of the glass.

Aroma is complex, perfectly balanced between a vanilla, toffee, caramel and oak sweetness, along with a healthy dose of bourbon. I honestly don't think a beer could smell much better than this.

The taste follows the nose almost identically, slightly less balanced this time with the bourbon taking the lead midpalate, especially as the beer warms. Heat from the alcohol is there, but it lingers in the background.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with medium carbonation. Bitterness is at the perfect level and damn this stuff is drinkable!

Overall, this is easily one of the best beers I have ever had and I can see why it is so sought-after. The vanilla, toffee, caramel, and oak just blend so perfectly with the bourbon to create such an excellent beer. I could deal with a little less bourbon in the taste (I now understand why people cellar this stuff), but that is really its only flaw. Now, excuse me why I go pick up more!

MIbeer27, Nov 06, 2014
Photo of nquigley16
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drinking a fresh 2014 out of a stemless wine glass.

L- Rich mahogany but when held to the light it is an AMAZING ruby/burgundy color and crystal clear. Absolutely gorgeous. Thin tan lacing. Even has thin legs when swirled. Not much of a head.

A- Almond, bourbon, oak, marzipan, brown sugar, milk chocolate, figs. Incredible aroma, I could pick things out of this all day if my olfactory receptors didn't get so saturated.

T- Lightly sweet, oaky, smokey, lightly boozy. Taste isn't as complex as the aroma but it pretty much the perfect level of sweetness and booze. Too many big oak aged beers are overly sweet or overly boozy. Backwoods is the perfect middle ground IMO.

M- A little thinner than I would expected, but that comes with being less sweet, which is nice. Definitely not too thin, nice mouthfeel, nice light carbonation. Sticky.

O- Awesome beer. I can't wait to drink one of these is 6 months too.

nquigley16, Nov 07, 2014
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.18/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sending me this one!

Pours a murky dark brown color with a 1 inch light beige head that fades to a thin cap. Rings upon rings upon rings of lace on the drink down. Very nice looking lacing with this beer. Smells of toasted coconut, some wood, alcohol, and malt. Taste has the toasted coconut, slight wood flavors, some vanilla, and malts. I am not really getting any stand out bourbon alcohol smells or tastes from this beer. Low carbonation with a thick and chewy mouthfeel. Slight alcohol burn in the back of the throat after each sip. Overall, this is a pretty taste beer with some nice toasted coconut qualities (I love coconut). I could probably only handle one of these at a time though.

UCLABrewN84, May 28, 2011
Photo of TimZebGir
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%

Years trapped in wood,
Crawling out covered in syrup,
Eyes flash to the bar,
Grin of missing teeth.

A: Caramel brown and brilliantly clear -- a thick creamy head that just refused to subside (3/3)
S: Like a shortbread cookie at first, then blending to clear bourbon and booze, with notes of raisin and toffee in the middle (9/12)
T: Remarkably rich and dessert-like (burnt toffee on a sweet whiskey-soaked sponge cake?), but that alcohol (with a bit of coffee maybe?) kicks you in the ass at the end(17/20)
M: Very creamy, surprisingly so given the superbly clear appearance (4/5)
O: Tread lightly, this old bastard shoots to kill. This is a great cure for a cold night or a good companion for a small, rich dessert. Otherwise, this guy is going to overpower anything it touches. (8/10)
41/50

TimZebGir, Nov 06, 2014
Photo of ShogoKawada
2.08/5  rDev -52.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

12oz into Newport Storm pint glass. 2010 bottling. Thought the first bottle was off, so I drank another the following night.

A- Dark roasty brown, a bit of a light brown head that fizzes out.

S- Bourbony notes, caramel/molasses. Nothing great, nothing awful.

T- Taste is bourbony, but not very good. Earthy, musty, dull, and oxidised. There is a heavy burbon note but it's dull and unexciting. Where's the vanilla and oak? All I'm getting is burnt sugar and dull earthy notes. Unappologetic booze permiates, but I've had far boozier beers that incorporate it better.

M- Decent enough body and carbonation but there are some off-notes in the flavor and finish that I'm not really enjoying.

D- Low. Thought I was going to enjoy this one as the chatter in the forums is quite abuzz over this beer. Not the case- I'm going to gift out the two remaining bottles as I don't want to drink this. Not a drainpour, but not enjoyable. I love bourbon, straight up, on the rocks, and in my beers, but this one was a misfire IMO.

What kind of barrels are these in? Remind me never to buy that bourbon.

ShogoKawada, Nov 23, 2010
Photo of WildRage
2.13/5  rDev -50.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Let me preface this with saying that I love scotch ales - I love Old Chubb, and I typically love beers aged in bourbon barrels - Black Ops comes to mind. That being said, I had a really hard time finishing one bottle of this 4 pack. It was like drinking bourbon - almost no beer taste to be found. If you love bourbon, you will love this beer - but be warned that it is EXTREMELY overpowering. I typically love Founders beers - had the Breakfast Stout and Nemesis on tap last night -- but I can't see myself buying this one again.

WildRage, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark reddish-brown body with a rather small, fleeting, off-white head.

Smell: A sturdy, sweet-scented caramel maltiness with a hint of maple. Oh, and with a rich, distinct bourbon barrel aroma, but you already knew that, right?

Taste: Sweet, sugary caramel maltiness with an added dose of maple syrup. Small touch of fruit. Full, punchy bourbon barrel tastes of vanilla and toasted oak wood. Light tannic astringency. Earthy hops with a medium amount of bitterness. Pleasingly sweet, bourbony finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Lightly sticky mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Oh, it's quite good. Potent, sure, but good! If ever anyone has some extra bottles of Backwoods Bastard they're looking to get rid of count me in.

ChainGangGuy, Nov 29, 2008
Photo of Prop28WasBetter
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Prop28WasBetter, 8 minutes ago
Photo of Moses13
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%

Moses13, 10 minutes ago
Photo of LukeLorence
3.8/5  rDev -12.4%

LukeLorence, 14 minutes ago
Photo of BodiesLexus
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

BodiesLexus, 19 minutes ago
Photo of dmgeng
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Got this one by a fluke since it had just gotten to the liquor store 2 hours before I did and it was the last 4 pack.

A - Nice Ruby to brown color that is pretty clear. Very light head but still good lacing while drinking it down.

S - Sweet bourbon smell mixed with strong maltiness and I feel like some coconut and chocolate notes as well. Very complex smell but predominately sweet and boozy.

T - The flavors really accentuate the malt and the sweet caramel tones of the base beer. There is a strong bourbon flavor that carries with it oak, vanilla, and what I believe to be a distinct coconut character. There seems to be no bitterness and the only slight salvation for the sweetness is the alcohol on the back end.

M - Moderate mouth-feel with very light carbonation. Overall it is really thin for what I would have expected especially with all of the sweetness. I akin the body of this beer to mixing some brown sugar, bourbon, and water together.

Overall, this is a pretty good beer definitely worth a high mark but not close to some of the better stouts on the market. If you don't like sweet beers or bourbon this one is probably not a good choice. I don't believe that this beer is worth the $5 a bottle but it does have it's place. I would either skip this one for it's little brother "Dirty Bastard" or step it up and go with a bourbon stout instead of this estranged amalgamation of the two.

Glass- Stout glass

dmgeng, Today at 02:28 AM
Photo of dreis
4.52/5  rDev +4.1%

dreis, Today at 02:05 AM
Photo of Hseabrightm
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Hseabrightm, Today at 01:40 AM
Photo of Krame1bt
4.52/5  rDev +4.1%

Krame1bt, Today at 01:35 AM
Photo of lawsonsj
5/5  rDev +15.2%

lawsonsj, Today at 12:39 AM
Photo of Critters
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Critters, Today at 12:38 AM
Photo of smaddock
5/5  rDev +15.2%

smaddock, Yesterday at 11:42 PM
Photo of Oldlogin
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Very strong burbon hit when first sampled.. It has grown on me with continuous tasting :))

Oldlogin, Yesterday at 08:02 PM
Photo of cichief
4.24/5  rDev -2.3%

cichief, Yesterday at 06:59 PM
Photo of gmag51
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

gmag51, Yesterday at 04:31 PM
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Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 6,030 ratings.