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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.

5,100 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,100
Reviews: 1,419
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 619
Gots: 1,510 | FT: 140
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: 5,100 | Reviews: 1,419 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NonicPanic


3.5/5  rDev -19.2%

12-13-2013 12:25:05 | More by NonicPanic
Photo of cyrushire


4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

11-20-2013 05:26:03 | More by cyrushire
Photo of BKotch


4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

01-03-2014 07:57:56 | More by BKotch
Photo of kbnooshay

New York

4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

11-17-2013 00:57:53 | More by kbnooshay
Photo of tewaris


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

This beer is the bourbon barrel aged version of Dirty Bastard. 12 oz. bottled 11/16/09 poured into a 3 Philosophers glass on 12/20/2010.

Appearance 4/5
Deep with the gravity of molten lava, and yet so clear. Viscous and mighty looking with a murky, bubbly head that left excellent lacing as it receded. This one also has lots of floaties, but not as disgusting as Dirty Bastard.

Aroma 4/5
Sweet like bourbon, but lots of Scotch like notes, caramel, toffee, perfume. Complex, but weak.

Taste 4.5/5
Hard to say if mixing Scotch and Bourbon is always a good idea, but I think it works for this ale. There are distinct smoky notes of Islay whisky. Slightly sweet with roast and smoke in finish with a distant, but present, Single Malt purity. Finishes a little astringent (welcome) but still very smooth, and sweet. Alcohol is softly present. Some dry fruit notes as well. A fine, complex, and subtle beer but doesn't achieve greatness, in my opinion.

Mouthfeel 4/5
The body is thinner than what I would have preferred, but alright given the base beer. Carbonation is low and fitting.

Drinkability 4/5
Good. The impression of Scotch whisky is very well done.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2010 01:43:16 | More by tewaris
Photo of jnardone235

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

10-04-2013 21:44:53 | More by jnardone235
Photo of sludgegnome


4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

03-10-2012 21:06:56 | More by sludgegnome
Photo of Fargrow


4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

06-23-2013 18:52:18 | More by Fargrow
Photo of nathanjohnson


5/5  rDev +15.5%

11-23-2011 13:18:26 | More by nathanjohnson
Photo of everetends


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

12 oz bottle thanks to IBUnit63. This beer probably has the coolest artwork I have seen on a brew. Served up in a pint glass.

A: This beer pours a really nice milky, murky brown color. This beer doesn't allow much of anything through and you can't see through it. Held to the light, more red comes out in this beer and really lets you see the milkiness that moves around in there. The beer poured a finger of head but it didn't have any retention though. Fades almost completely away, and doesn't get you any lacing. Ah well, the stellar part of this beer is the color and murkiness going on.

S: Smell is a really nice bourbon and scotch aroma just spilling out of the glass. The booze smell is just amazing and you can really smell that bourbon presence. There is a nice brown sugar and caramel working in there. Rounds off with a bit of some nice oaky goodness. Smells boozy but still light enough so that it doesn't seem to be too much, just enough. Very nice.

T: Taste is about the same as the nose, just better. The bourbon really comes out with a nice creamy richness. The booze is just perfect, doesn't overpower at all. Then that booze is controlled by some nice caramel and brown sugar. Toffee comes out as well. The wood in here really comes up and controls all these flavors nicely. Damned good.

M: This is a medium brew on the full side. This beer is nice a creamy, with a slick syrup like feel. ABV is felt with a touch of heat on the throat but the aroma and flavors seem like it would be a bit hotter on the palate and on the way down. Carbonation is really nice and medium, making this one drop easily down the throat. Aftertaste is mostly some booze and oaky goodness.

D: Oh my. I had to keep myself in check and stop myself from killing this in a few gulps. For such a big beer with such big flavors, it is damned easy drinking. Goes down so easy and sits very nice. I just think that Founders did a great job of keeping these boozy bourbon flavors in check and from getting out of control. So damned good. Thanks, Larry. Love this beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2009 06:12:46 | More by everetends
Photo of Skunkdrool


4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

11-22-2013 20:30:58 | More by Skunkdrool
Photo of mixed_master7


4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

04-23-2013 01:06:42 | More by mixed_master7
Photo of johnyb


4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

02-05-2014 13:57:54 | More by johnyb
Photo of scotorum


4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
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%.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2013 06:26:24 | More by scotorum
Photo of superdedooperboy


3.8/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12-ounce brown bottle poured into a snifter glass. Bottle stamp tells me this was bottled on September 30, 2010 at 17:55, making this fairly fresh at just over a month old.

Pours a deep cherrywood hue with a nice clarity and a small off-white head that dissipates quickly, barely hanging on to the walls of the glass as the contents fade away.

Immediately the aroma gives this away as being barrel-aged, and bourbon barrel-aged at that. A huge whiff of vanilla, woody oak and a distinct bourbon character compromises the foreground, while in the background there is the slightest hint of peat that signals that this is, in fact, a Scotch ale at heart. The note is nearly imperceptible, and if one were not paying attention it would easily be missed, but it is there nevertheless.

The palate opens with sweet and slightly smoky malt notes before quickly being taken over by oaky vanillin, which bombards the palate throughout the remainder of the drink; sweet caramel notes peek through meagerly but have mostly hidden themselves in the pores of the wood. A more distinct wood character mingles with a touch of peat toward the back, perhaps with a little hop character, though it's difficult to discern as things become a little hot and boozy, leading into a long, warming finish. Vanilla and wood linger long afterward.

Drinkability isn't exactly the name of this beer's game. It's evident from the first whiff that this is a sipper, and it's an excellent one at that, though it would definitely be nice if a bit more of the base beer's character would show through after the barrel aging process. For fans of Bourbon and beers aged on Bourbon wood, this is definitely worth a shot, and it makes a heck of a nightcap. Sadly, because the base is so masked by the aging, it becomes a good deal less interesting than it could potentially be. I'd like to see how this cellars, though, as it certainly has cellaring potential and could, mellow and become more intriguing with a bit of age on the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2010 05:16:20 | More by superdedooperboy
Photo of brownbeer


4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

02-14-2014 01:44:54 | More by brownbeer
Photo of WakeandBake


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

On tap at Founders,served in a snifter. A ruby/purple color with a thin white cap that fades quickly and leaves some nice lacing. Aroma is vanilla, oak,alcohol(Burbon)and maybe even some dry barly grain. Flavor is very earthy peaty,lots of burbon notes oak,vanilla,alcohol,rye bread,brown sugar,very complex.Full mouthfeel,medium carbonation,dry boozy finish. Very good brew if you like burbon but not something that I would drink more than one of at a sitting.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2009 15:07:24 | More by WakeandBake
Photo of denimdemon


4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

11-20-2011 21:42:48 | More by denimdemon
Photo of Khazadum


3.28/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Picked up a sole bottle at Lush the other day. Was surprised to see what they had to offer, and realized I had not reviewed this fine brew before. Chilled and killed this evening from my favorite brandy snifter.

A- Tough job on forming a head. What did develop, a minor quarter finger, was a yellowish tinged cream with huge bubbles forming a zig zag through the cap. Barely lasts five minutes to a flaccid skin and limp collar.

Deep, deep brown body. Almost as if we took brown food coloring and nearly saturated a glass. Carbonation is hidden for the most part, not much visualization of it.

S- The oak comes forward more-so than anything else. It has that sweet, earthy aroma. Hints of vanilla characteristic of the style. The bourbon comes forth more so as an antiseptic offering. More alcohol than anything else.

T- An explosion of sweet caramels. Huge malt bomb on the opening. It dies off in a shooting star pattern to reveal the barrel characteristics. Its bourbon sweet without the heat of it melding perfectly with the oak flavors. Woody with vanilla edging. It may have lacked the heat, but as it warms the pure ethanol flavors start to creep from the edges in. It has a extremely dry finish. Very little sweetness to pair it.

M- Highly medicinal. Disgustingly medicinal, actually. It evolves to a bottle of rubbing alcohol, ethyl style. It has the right amount of carbonation, but the flavors you want to linger do not. Thin, mild body. Its such a disappointment here.

D- The alcohol doesn't burn, but it just tastes awful. Truly, truly, gross fora finish. If I could capture the first moments and let them last I'd find this to be a good beer. Unfortunately, that is not the fact. This 10% tastes more like a 20% or worse. I'm forced to drink it further as I hit the middle of the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2010 00:14:32 | More by Khazadum
Photo of azdback


4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Color is almost as dark as you can get with the color brown. I couldn't see through this until I held it up to the light. Ruby red highlights. Very mild carbonation bubbles lead to a small, less than one finger, head that is tan or khaki in color.

Smell is overwhelming barrel and vanilla. There are sweet sticky aromas of caramel and molasses. I also detect some alcohol. This is one of the greatest smelling beers I have had the privilege of sticking my very large schnaz into.

Taste is a bit more mellow then the smell. The bourbon barrel is still there and standing in the forefront, but the alcohol isn't as prevalent. I taste butterscotch and molasses. There is also a bit of a sweet cream soda taste. The more of this I drink, the more I must say about the barrel taste. I do love the bourbon barrel taste in anything I have tried. This one is done with precision! Very nice!!

Mouth is creamy and the carbonation is round. Body is balanced to full and the finish is long and wet.

Overall I really liked another Founders brew. It seems like Founders really has their shit together. This brew is right in line with their ability to nail any style. But I love the Bourbon Barell Aged ones most, I think they do those best.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2011 07:09:37 | More by azdback
Photo of JKV96


4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

09-29-2013 21:14:46 | More by JKV96
Photo of PhineasGage


5/5  rDev +15.5%

12-14-2011 05:24:09 | More by PhineasGage
Photo of JohnnyMc


5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Another Bourbon-Barrel aged beer from Founders!!

Pours out a pretty dark mahogany with ruby highlights and a thin head.

The aroma has a lot of Bourbon, a decent amount of vanilla, oak, caramel, toffee butterscotch and followed by dark fruits like figs and raisins.

The taste has a decent amount of Bourbon right away and that's followed by the caramel, toffee and butterscotch notes and then that blends into a vanilla, slightly smoky and oaky characteristic and on the back end is where all the dark fruit notes are. The bitterness helps balance out the sweetness, but it's not a bitter beer.

It's medium bodied and has a nice rich mouthfeel. You can feel and taste the alcohol, but it enhances the style of the beer.

Very easy to drink and extremely enjoyable young, but I'm going to age a few bottles as well to see how it is in a year or more.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2012 00:56:26 | More by JohnnyMc
Photo of ATLbeerDog


4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

From a 12oz bottle on 11/02/2008 - Pours a reddish/brown color with small caramel colored head. Almost no carbonation. Smells of sweet bourbon and not much else. First sip is smooth and mellow with the scotch dominating but still balanced with the malts. Oak and vanilla notes are also present. Very nice and drinkable. Not much carbonation here thanks to the barrel aging process. Very nice and tasty.

Bottle on 12/27/08 - Pours a cloudy brownish/red with a frothy ½ inch caramel colored head. A light aroma of bourbon and malt complete the nose. First sip is much more bourbon than the nose indicated. It is all bourbon, and then some malts appear in a supportive role. As it warms, it is still all bourbon but now some hops are present adding to the overall complexity. I am guessing this was aged in some very fresh barrels still loaded with residual bourbon wetness as the beer picked up a ton of flavor.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2008 03:51:47 | More by ATLbeerDog
Photo of mjw1200


5/5  rDev +15.5%

04-05-2013 01:50:19 | More by mjw1200
Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 5,100 ratings.