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Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

4,748 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4748
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: 4,748 | Reviews: 1,404 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice little scotch, gotten in trade. Pours medium with good lasting white head, tons of lace.Aroma is decent bourbon. Mouthfeel is easy, average and smooth, good bourbon taste, whiskeyish not too corny, not in-your-face that is well integrated and woody. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2009 21:31:37 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2011 00:56:54 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.95/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"No poor bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making other bastards die for their country."

--General George S. Patton

Murky tawny with a hint of ruby and edges of bright orange. The golden brown sugar hued head is surprisingly small, but it's nicely creamy and is starting to lay down some lace. The score is a reflection of the appearance right after the pour, rather than how the beer looks several minutes later.

If you like bourbon whiskey, the nose is a good one. It features the caramelized sugar, vanilla and oakiness of that spirit. It would be nice if the scotch ale qualities of the beer were more evident.

Backwoods Bastard is good beer, but it isn't the incredibly good beer that was expected. My assumption is that it's Dirty Bastard that has been 'aged in oak bourbon barrels', as the label reads. A great beer (Dirty B) and a shot of bourbon should have resulted in something more amazing. Part of the problem is an overly thin, inadequately bubbled mouthfeel.

The flavor is increasingly enjoyable, which is why I want it to be fuller, rounder, deeper and more complex. For whatever reason, some bigger beer tends to shrink and simplify when it's barrel-aged. If I didn't like bourbon so much, the taste score would be at least one notch lower.

Regarding specifics, the spotlight is on boozy caramel, loads of crushed vanilla bean and sugared oak. Those flavors don't obliterate the qualities of the wee heavy, but they do pound them into submission. In the end, a better mouthfeel would have increased the scores on either side of it.

Speaking of which... what else is there to say? The beer is too thin for the style and the ABV. I'm not sure what happened since Dirty Bastard has such an enjoyable mouthfeel. Slight improvement with warming manages to keep it above average.

Every one of the above scores was barely achieved. Founders managed to take a great beer and a great concept (bourbon barrel aging) and turn it into 'merely good' beer. It would still be fantastic if they make this a regular release because the potential for greatness is definitely there. Thanks prototypic.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2008 15:27:45 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now this one was an anomaly to me. I had heard about it several times before, and received it as an extra from a BIF that I cannot remember, but that I do know contained tons of Founders at the time. This is a 2007 Vintage twelve-ounce bottle, that I do know and I have had it in the closet for at least a few months, so it has had a bit of time to relax. I am not sure what kind of concoction I am getting myself into over here; however, it looks intriguing to say the least. Retrieved the bottle from the fridge and let it warm up a few minutes, before serving it into a Sam Adams fluted pint glass.

A - Poured this one very hard into the glass, trying to elicit as much out of it as I possibly could. What I got was about a finger worth of tan head across the top, and this quickly faded before my eyes, and left behind only a thin film of lace and bubbles across the top to carry on the foam. This then faded rather quickly, and then really all that was left after that was a thin line of bubbles across the top. There was a very nice color to this, a deep hickory brown with a very cloudy and hazy consistency to it. Not bad overall, I could see some carbonation, barely making it out through the haze. Very nice looking indeed.

S - The aroma was full of bourbon and alcohol, absolutely ripe with it from the first smell I could take in. I t was really coming across quite heavy. Once I let it warm up a bit it started to take on much more character. A very nice deep malty backbone was starting to push through. Lots of sweet notes taking over on this one, with hints of caramel, vanilla and nice earthy grains starting to come to the front. Definitely, some wood somewhere in its history as the aroma of oak was huge on this one. I would really pick up the bourbon barrel clearly, and knew this was going to be a big one.

T - The flavor was a touch hot to be honest. Loaded down with alcohol a bit more then I thought it would be, and it took a good few minutes to really mellow out before I could appreciate it for what it was. Once the alcohol mellowed, some lovely sweet notes started to mingle in. Lots of caramel and vanilla starting to take shape here, really lightning it up and make it that much sweeter. Next up in the lineup was a full on assault of the oak and wood flavors that were coming through earlier. Strong hints of oak and bourbon dominating it here, really giving it a deep flavor and pronounced presence. Definitely some more alcohol in the finish now, no doubt about that, as I was left with a long drawn out flavor of rich bourbon and caramel, with the ever so slightly dry hop finish. Really quite complex and very nice indeed.

M - The feel on this one was a bit tricky to be honest. It was quite nicely nestled in the medium-bodied ale category with a nice rich profile and really complex finish. Good carbonation stayed with it till the end never letting it get dull or boring in any way. Definitely not thing, but it was a little slick to be honest. Still very nice, and smooth.

D - I could definitely have gone for another one of these when all was said and done. It was definitely a sipper due to the strong nature of it, however it was really quite complex, and the warmer it got the better it was received. Not something you would drink all night, but one or two would be no issue.

Overall, this was a really nice and quite complex wee heavy. I have had ones strong then this, but this was almost borderline on a old ale. It was just full of alcohol and really sweet tones. Very nicely crafted and definitely a quality brew. I look forward t having another one day.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2008 15:18:30 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.93/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to tendermorsel for this bottle!

A: Backwoods Bastard pours a cloudy, muddled amber/brown color with pretty much no foam.

S: This certainly smells like a fine liquor. A lot of bourbon and vanilla. There is also a very strong oak aroma.

T: The taste has many of the same characteristics of the nose. A lot of oak, vanilla, bourbon, and maybe a touch of chocolate. There is also a bitterness in there somewhere.

M: Very smooth, creamy, and full bodied. The carbonation is on the low side.

D: I was expecting to be blown away by booze, but it really was quite manageable. That said, you still feel it after enjoying a bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2009 07:27:32 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

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

Appearance: Pours a tawny color with russet highlights; the modest cap drops to a layer of big bubbles on the surface, leaving some dots around the chalice

Smell: Caramel, oak, vanilla, chocolate-covered cherries and bourbon - a well-crafted blend

Taste: Caramel, up front, with a growing oaky vanilla and chocolate-covered cherry presence that adds bourbon complexity by mid-palate; after the swallow, the blend that made the aroma so attractive comes together on the tastebuds; the finish is slightly boozy

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low to moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Overall: Although the mouthfeel is a little thin for a Wee Heavy with this level of ABV, the nicely balanced flavor profile makes up for it

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2011 01:53:09 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a lightly cloudy deep amber color ale with a small foamy head with average retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of bourbon and sweet malt dominates. Taste is a fine mix betwen some bourbon notes with some deep sweet marley with some light dry fruit notes. Full body with average carbonation and no alcohol ester where noticeable. Bourbon might be slightly too present and somewhat overshadows the malt but still very solid beer from this fine brewery.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2008 03:20:45 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
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!

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2009 04:45:58 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with mahogany hues to it. Small off-white, creamy head.

S: Lots of bourbon going on here. This sits atop a fairly-strong caramel malt base with some buttered notes.

T: Again, the bourbon really comes out. It layers a nice complexity on top of the underlying notes of oak, caramel, and malt sweetness.

M: Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. Not too hot, but a pretty good alcohol warmth to it.

D: Pretty drinkable, and sips especially quickly for a beer with so much bourbon.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2009 15:13:37 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

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

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a ring of beige bubbles around the edge of the glass with some lacing in the center.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of grapes and raisins in the nose.
T: The initial taste has lots of malty sweetness with flavors of raisins. There are some hints of alcohol in the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer isn't that difficult to drink although I can't see myself having more than one of these in a sitting.

Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2011 14:54:14 | More by metter98
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2008 00:15:42 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ahh the Lions,enough said.Backwoods Bastard poured into a small tulip glass an awesome deep mahogany with with amber hue,a tight formed clingy tannish colored head atop,great clarity and a great pour.Deep complex malt aromas with the bourbon barrel showing through,vanilla and cherry notes dominate with some wood and a tinge of sweet alcohol.Obviously not a beer to start turkey day with but I did,its a sipper but not a head knocker.Flavors are pretty sweet up front with vanill,caramel and cherry flavors dominating,the bourbon flavor is prevelent but not overpowering,theere is a noticeablr drying leafy finish.A great beer,like I said asipper but it wont slow you down to much,a few of these and I might enjoy the Lions game.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2008 18:12:39 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.83/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a flared pokal at Bliss.

Scott is the absolute man for cracking some of these for us during this Bliss tasting. Seriously. It pours a clear dark russet-amber topped by a finger of dirty light-tan foam. The nose comprises bourbon, oak, light vanilla, caramel, toffee, light peat moss, raisin, dates, and a touch of cocoa. The only thing holding this smell back is the strength of the bourbon, which comes close to singeing my nosehairs with every sniff. (But this ain't enough to deter me from going further, mind you.) The taste brings in more of the same, but with a decidedly stronger and boozier bourbon component, which threatens to overtake everything else in a blaze of usurpatory glory. It's still pretty tasty, but much more one-dimensional than it could have been. The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a lightly syrupy feel. Overall, yeah, it's heavy on the bourbon, but it's still a damn fine, tasty brew. It's not amazing, but it's more than an experience.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2011 19:57:03 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy deep-amber-red-chestnut. Surprisingly, the off-white head drops shortly.

The aroma is bourbon-like, but also caramelish and sweet. It's sweetish and woody, and welcoming.

In the mouth it's medium bodied with a median carbonation, leaving it smooth and gently creamy.

The flavor is initially caramel malt, brown sugar, and Bourbon, followed by drying notes of woodiness and a snap of alcohol. In the end, although it lingers for quite some time, the maltiness basically evaporates leaving just the wood, bourbon, and alcohol behind.

An interesting and engaging ale!

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2009 14:31:10 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazed, deep dark crimson to brown, slimmed, dunnish head.

Sweet, bourbony aromatics right off the bat. Cherry wood and leather. Spices and smoke. Rich and luxuriant.

Taste: Very complex, too much going on to take it apart at first sip. You get the wood, the whiskey, and below the sweet Scotch ale at the base. Mmm, oaky...mmm, rich and bourbony. Starts sweet, gets dry and well-rounded, nicely balanced, and oozing over with wonderful flavor. You don't feel the 10% right away, but it gets in there, oh, yes...very nice. Not too much bourbon, which can be a detriment at times. If it weren't so strong or so expensive, I'd be at this quite a bit.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2010 23:31:00 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 4-pack from Armanetti's.

A - Murky brown color. Pours with a thin head that dissipates quickly to an attractive lace. Small amount of carbonation is present.

S - Whiskey & oak. Sweet and malty, some chocolate and molasses in there too. Needs to warm a little from fridge temperature before the flavors come out. Rich!

T - Mmm...bourbon & caramel. Leaves me with an aftertaste of Werther's. Oak and brown sugar flavors in there too. There's a little bit of hops too, although not as much as I'd expect for a beer with 50 IBUs.

M - Not as viscous as I expected for a beer that has heavy caramel taste - a little watery. Nice tingle from the carbonation that complements the bourbon. Smooth finish, without heavy alcohol burn.

D - Drinks awfully well for a 10.2% brew. I'd totally have a couple, even if it results in a short night!

Another great brew from Founder's!

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2008 23:19:17 | More by MasterSki
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head, that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar, some fruit, caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of vanilla, bourbon, caramel and some fruit followed by a very hearty malt character. There’s a significant alcohol sting that comes in next. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style but there are others I would drink first including Founders Dirty Bastard.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2012 00:36:53 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 label with a sinister, axe-wielding dwarf on the front. Neck label lists 50 IBU, and 10.2% abv.

Poured half the bottle into a 12 oz. snifter. Thin cap of tan foam, that receded after five minutes, leaving a ring of bubbles at the edge, and a cool spiderweb pattern across the mahogany surface.

Big bourbon aroma. A swirl kicks up a sweet maltiness behind it, hinting at the base beer's character. Otherwise it's sweet, woody whiskey and sour mash fumes: hints of corn, cherry, and fried plantain.

Full fledged bourbon flavor too, more or less steamrolling the whole thing. Luckily not as harsh as straight bourbon, but the full flavor is there. Flashes of sweet malt underneath, with a growing warming sensation in the gut with every sip. Low carb and medium body, the strong flavor takes centerstage. Pretty much only good for sipping, even splitting a bottle if you aren't prepared for alot of whiskey in your beer.

1-12-2010 Vintage 2007 bottle, "7169" roughly may '07

Slightly murky red, decent amount of foam. Clear and strong bourbon aroma. Alcohol has mellowed, oxidation is creeping in, but doesn't interfere. Bourbon flavors are front and center, woody sweet maple syrup, brown sugar, drizzled in caramel toffee. Really tasty without the alcohol heat.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2008 19:24:27 | More by emerge077
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

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

Revize after drinking this year's offering, this is a great/epic tske on the style, period!

Cheers to Bitterbill ( I think) for this one! Mine is 8.7% abv

Pours caramel/chestnut with 1 finger of tan colored head. Good head retention & outstanding lacing

S: Bourbon sweetness, some oaky notes

T: Toffee, oakyness, & whisky/bourbon up front. Vanilla follows as this warms, dryness, plus a touch of leafy hops, more toffee, raisins & a bit of booze. Finishes dry with whisky notes, & some leafy & herbal hops. Good flavor, but the oakyness is just bit much for me, almost seems artificial

MF: Medium bodied, slightly overgassed, skews a bit too sweet & oaky for me

Drinks good for the abv, & style. This is a bit off style to me, but tasty enough

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2008 05:23:08 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a ruby red color with a thin tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a warm burnt toffee scent along with a nice oak bourbon aroma. The taste is awesome. It has a wonderful mix of warm burnt toffee with fresh oak and bourbon. The oak contributes an excellent vanilla character. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good beer. I'm generally a huge fan of Scotch ales anyway, but this one is exceptional. The barrel aging adds an additional layer of complexity. The 10.2% abv. is well hidden.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2010 00:27:54 | More by WesWes
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

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

Beer is poured from a dateless bottle (start dating your shit Founders) into a Bruery tulip. Beer is brown and mostly clear. Forms a good one finger head of offwhite bubbles, tiny bubbles, that leaves a ton of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is low but steady. Looks really good.

Aroma is strong caramel and bourbon, nicely boozy.

Beer is medium body, minimal carbonation on the palate. Pretty sweet, mildly dry, creamy mouthfeel, easy drinking. This is a very very good beer. Probably my favorite Scotch to date. Amazingly smooth and completely enjoyable start to finish. Thanks Dustin.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2010 16:37:47 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brownish-red with a small white head. The aroma is awesome, lots of cherry, vanilla and bourbon. The flavor is just as great, with the same cherry, vanilla and bourbon notes, with the vanilla being the most dominant flavor. There is very little detectable alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium and the carbonation is low.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2010 21:56:05 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, dirty brown color with a small, thin head of off-white, foam. It left soapy residue.

S - It smelled of bourbon, scotch and rich, sweet malt.

T - This really had a good dose of bourbon flavor with touches of raisin. It had a rich, sweet malt backbone.

M - It was soft and smooth. A medium to full-bodied beer.

D - This is a great tasting brew. Potent and rich.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2009 04:07:09 | More by zeff80
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.72/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Portia99 for supplying this baby on the 08, now time to review the 09. Poured into Allagash tulip glass.

The new 2009 release, and I have refined my reviews and palate a lot since my last review.

A: Rich thick 1 finger head that doesn't seem like it wants to leave at all, and I don't blame it. Super dark molasses brown color that barely lets light through, but when it does it leaves a slight reddish hue with lots of haze.

N: Wow bourbon up the wazzoo! Also lots of oak aromas to dominate the nose. I start to get some brown sugar and molasses or some sweet syrup like aroma behind it, but heavy on bourbon and oak. Judging from my last review I didn't mention the bourbon and oak, so I wonder if it ages by lessening these aromas. I have more 2008 of this so I will have to compare them soon. Also on the nose is slight vanilla and a little alcohol. Then there are some creamy heavy malts, but way on the back side.

T: Taste starts with some rich creamy malts, very delicious malts though, wow! Then adds some interseting fruits like raisin and perhaps fig or date. After that comes the bourbon, which is still adding to the tastes. Next up is oak and vanilla, which round off the flavors well. Its really rich and complex. The vanilla seems to creep up and get stronger as the taste lingers and as the beer warms. Then some burnt brown sugar really takes a punch to this beer. I almost get a slight cream soda like taste. A slight alcohol taste as well, but very light. The flavors are dancing around in my mouth like ecstacy.

M: Pretty thick, almost syrupy, slightly velvety, some alcohol warmth and burn, decent carbonation.

F: Finishes slightly dry but still semi sweet. The alcohol leaves a fresh clean feeling in the mouth like you just finished mouthwash. The vanilla and oak also seem to stick around for a little while adding some nice lingering tastes in the memory. The bourbon also remains, but much less than before. It adds some bitter qualities that seem to stem from some possible hops. The creamy feel and taste also lingered for a little bit. Some oak esters stick around your tongue, or my tongue since I'm the one tasting it dammit. Damn this is such an awesomely awesome beer!

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2009 22:18:08 | More by jlindros
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.43/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A slightly vigorous pour produces only enough head to cover the beer for a half second, what is there is a amber tinged tan color. The beer is a dark plum / dark amber color that shows a lightly hazy, cranberry red hue when held up to the light. At the first, the aroma is a nice mix between rich malt notes and oak aromatics. Deeper inspection yields much the same with competing aromas of ripe, bright, concentrated berry notes, some spicy bourbon, soft butterscotch, a touch of molasses, deeply caramelized malt, lightly toasted grain and browned biscuits.

Somewhat sweet, though this beer drinks much richer than the sweetness would suggest. The body of this beer is downright chewy, viscous and mouth-coating. Flavors of berries, hugely caramelized grain and a rich malt character slowly yield to spicy, oak and Bourbon influenced flavors that linger on in the finish. The buttery notes from the oak and Bourbon character really shows through in the finish and it adds a nice compliment to the up front malt focus of this beer. Peppery oak and a bit of hot boozy Bourbon notes provides a sharpness, almost harshness as the beer warms up a bit.

I really like that the malt character plays a slightly bigger role in the flavor profile than the bourbon barrel does; this keeps the integrity of the rich, Scotch ale style, but with an offsetting bourbon component that helps to offset / balance the thick malt character of this brew. Having said that, bourbon barrel aged beers seem to be a bit hard for me to get behind; there is something about the Bourbon notes that add a harshness the beers aged in the barrels that just doesn't quite work for me. As the beer warms up from its initial 50°F / 10°C it picks up more of the sharp, hot, Bourbon flavors which pull this away from being balanced. This is not a bad brew, but the Bourbon character is a bit much, especially as the beer warms up a bit.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2008 03:38:28 | More by Gueuzedude
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Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 4,748 ratings.