1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard

Educational use only; do not reuse.

6,652 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,652
Reviews: 1,581
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 10.37%
Wants: 806
Gots: 2,262 | FT: 210
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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders Backwoods Bastard Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,652 | Reviews: 1,581 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dalepryor
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of Pahn
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Thanks to fellow BA morningthief for the bottle.

Appearance: Free pour yields a half inch, foamy, off-white head that dissipates quickly. Pours a semi-translucent dark red brown, with what appears to be some small bits of sediment. Leaves small, occasional spots of lacing.

Smell: Strong bourbon, vanilla and coconut. Chocolaty, with a little dark fruit (date) aroma along with the sweet maltiness and oak/bourbon. Good.

Taste: Follows the nose, but somehow it's so mild and smooth. It reminds me of Bourbon County Stout, not in that they taste remotely similar but in how perfectly the influence of barrel aging is integrated with the rest of the beer. There's very clear flavors of bourbon and oak, along with some chocolate and sweet, creamy malt flavors. Gets hot for a second, but stops leaving very little aftertaste.

The flavor is not very complex, but what's there is excellent. Tempted to give it a 4~ for being a little simplistic and not providing a long, warming and satisfying aftertaste, but also tempted to give it a 5 for how it perfects the balance of big malty scotch ale with bourbon and oak.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Creamy, but not very. Could stand to be fuller bodied. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Almost too easy to drink. Alcohol catches up on you, and the glass empties fast.

Backwoods Bastard is a very enjoyable beer. It simultaneously gives a tutorial as to why people age beer in bourbon barrels, and a benchmark against which one can measure the success of other barrel aged beers. Worth the large pricetag (around $15~ per 4pack if I'm not mistaken).

Photo of Stevie_Janowski
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of moarmare
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of AMCimpi
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Goliath
3.43/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy dark amber/brown color with a half inch of tan colored head sitting on top. Poor retention nd no real lacing.

The aroma is decent. I got a nice bourbon note before I even started to pour. Vanilla and oak are present, Some dark fruit, and a touch of molases.

The taste is pretty good. A nice malt forward beer with notes of bourbon, oak, vanilla, molases, raw grain, and a bit of fruit.

The mouthfeel is a bit weak for me. It's a little on the thin side with an ample carbonation. It feels about medium bodied, so I guess maybe it's a little watery which gives the illusion of being thin.

Drinkability is moderat. The flavor profile is pleasing, but not overwhelmingly good. The moutfeel was the major flaw in the beer, at least to me. The could definitely ramp up the complexity of the beer as well. All in all a decent effort, but I wouldn't go out of my way to have it again.

Photo of Kromes
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A clear dark amber/red color with a thin tan colored head.

S: A big vanilla and oak aroma.

T: Wow. A very nice toasted malt flavor mixed with a vanilla and butter. The oak and alcohol flavors are there, but they are very mellow.

M: Velvet smooth and mellow. Doesn't dry out, which I would have expected. Very good mouthfeel.

O: Quality stuff. very balanced. Some heavy oak aged beers are way too sweet. This beer is just about spot on.

Photo of marine1975
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of scotorum
4.41/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 10/12/13

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Smith English tulip.

a: Clear dark ruby, half finger thick beige head disspiated to thick surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Bourbon

t: Bourbon with hop bite over heavy malt base. Very tasty, bourbon flavor lingers in the mouth. Alcohol is felt on swallow but not with much burn. As it warms caramel malt comes more to the forefront, but this is still more about the bourbon barrel aging.

m: Medium to heavy, very smooth.

o: A superb combination, although the bourbon flavor tops the malt sweetness, the heft of the malt supports that flavor and both mediate the 50 IBU hops.

UPDATE 12/28/13: Had another and was struck by how much this tastes like a heavier-bodied Innis & Gunn Scottish Porter, which I just had a few nights ago, and which is also aged in liquor barrels. I must admit, much as I love I&G, I liked this better because of the more substantial body and slightly better malt/whiskey flavor balance. I like a hefty mouthfeel, and Backwoods Bastard is hard to beat! Of course it also tops the ABV of Innis & Gunn by about 3%.

Photo of polopaul20
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Knoxrb12
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of devilfluff
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of BeerImmediately
3.79/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Catching up on some old reviews...

Pours with a nice deep amber color with floaties and decent carbonation. 1F head.

Surprisingly very little aroma, just a hint of caramel sweetness. Disappointed in this aspect.

Flavors of toffee-sweet malt, and some alchoholic aftertaste.

MF is the winner here... Incredibly smooth, with just a slight bite in the finish - Scottish!

High drinkability for the ABV, and just an overall really easy drinking Week Heavy.

Photo of Anonymous1
3/5  rDev -30.9%

Photo of SilentSabre
3.95/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured up a nice medium brown colour with a cream coloured head. Smell is sweet malts, maybe a bit of dark fruit (figs?), and some mild, earthy hops. Taste was dominated by sweet malts with a bit of hop bitterness, which was nice. Alcohol was somewhat assertive, which hurt drinkability. Mouthfeel is pleasant and about average for the style. A well crafted brew, but I couldn't have more than say, maybe 2 of these in a sitting.

Photo of TKEbeerman
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of dcloeren
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep burgundy with ruby edges and about half a finger of carmel colored fizzy head that quickly recedes to a thin film

I'm catching bourbon right off of the bat with very sweet and sticky carmel and brown sugar. Also getting subtle notes of vanilla and oak. This beer is smelling very warm and inviting. If you like bourbon, this beer smells exceptional. I guess its a good thing I do!

Caramel malt, brown sugar and bourbon dominate the palate with very smooth touches of vanilla and some serious heat! This beer is pretty boozy and I like it! Once the beer warms up I got a little more vanilla and the oak came out as well.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation (which I think is just the right amount for this beer) This beer is pretty slick on the tongue, not as sticky as the smell leads it to be. Very warming boozy aftertaste that somewhat numbs the tongue with each sip

Overall this was an excellent bonus. Thanks to prototypic for this gem. I loved every sip of this beer. This beer had the right amount of sweetness and some serious boozy notes. Bottom line: if you cant take the heat get out of the kitchen son. This beer will eat your lunch!!!

Photo of Celtics76
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of nzerbe
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Cloaked_Phantom
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of Gosox8787
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle courtesy of Spleeb. Poured into my Portsmouth Brewery tulip.

Appearance: Dark to medium brown in color with some nice amber highlights throughout. Poured s one finger head that immediately recedes into nothing.

Aroma: Caramel, molasses, and a whole bunch of bourbon. It's pretty hot for the most part. Some vanilla and brown sugar are there as well. Really pleasant, but hot.

Taste: Caramel, vanilla, and brown sugar dominate here. Much smoother than the aroma. The bourbon is really pleasant and compliments the other flavors well. Not overly sweet, with a nice balanced finish.

Mouthfeel: Plenty of carbonation and full bodied. Warming, but very smooth.

Overall, a really nice bourbon barrel aged scotch ale. The booze is a bit heavy in the nose, but it blends well in the taste. A nice, complex and warming sipper. Definitely recommended.

Photo of carrollmel7
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This was bottled on 10/13/11 and reviewed on 12/12/11. Served in a snifter.

Appearance was very, very dark. When held up to the light, the color is identifiable as dark, dark mahogany with significant haze (unfiltered). As with many high abv, barrel-aged beers, carbonation is low and the thin tan head quickly dissipates. The beer has a pronounced bourbon nose. Vanilla, oak, and butterscotch tones predominate. There's a lot going on here in the nose and it takes some patient swirling to dig it out. Your patience is definitely rewarded.

Flavor is wonderful. First, you get sweet malty caramel, toffee, and creme brulee flavors. Then you get vanilla and bourbon with a touch of coffee and a gentle hop kiss. The barrel-aging goes wonderfully with this style. Drinking it reminds me of the taste of Asbach Uralt (those wonderful brandy-filled German dark chocolates). The mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side, but somehow this only seems to add to the (illusion of) drinkability.

This is an amazing beer. It is like a luxury model of one of my all time favorite beers - BBC's Bourbon Barrel Big Brown. I do love barrel-aged stouts, but I wish more brewers would make barrel-aged versions of easy-drinking sweet, malty beers like brown ales and Scottish/Scotch ales. The oaky tones of the bourbon just go perfectly with these beers.

Photo of Williaar
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 6,652 ratings.