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Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,651 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,651
Hads: 7,344
Avg: 4.25
pDev: 22.59%
Wants: 956
Gots: 2,779 | FT: 260
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  11.60% 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,651 | Hads: 7,344
Photo of DavidEddie
3.92/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Dark brown. Khaki colored head diminishes quickly.

Smell - Bourbon, dark ripe fruit, vanilla, smoke, and wood. A very nice strong aroma.

Taste - Dark cherries, dark chocolate, butterscotch, big time booze, burnt toast, hint of bourbon and mellow smoke.

Mouthfeel - Light at first. Becomes a thick heavy fizz of carbonation followed by some syrupyness that coats your mouth. Sticky like.

Drinkability - Exceptional. But the alcohol was kinda harsh. Could use a year in the cellar. Flavors worked well with each other. Recommend!

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Photo of frasergrove
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Nose is reminiscent of dates, plum, some barrel notes, a hint sweet and light maltiness. Warming as you sip, but not overly boozy or harsh. Extremely smooth, light vanilla touches as it crosses the palate. An outstanding barrel aged beer

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Photo of DrewZ926
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- deep brown with some golden highlights, minimal head that fades fast, no lacing

S- a wallop of savory bourbon, maple, caramel, molasses, sweet malt

T- really complex and balanced surprisingly, big bourbon flavors, not overly sweet though, lots of intense malt and caramel, toffee, a bit of mint and cocoa too

M- full bodied and fairly viscous

O- a great barrel aged offering from founders. Very bourbon-centric though, which to some may be off-putting. That being said I think the base beer melded great with the aging and preserved its integrity while taking on an even more complex flavor profile

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Photo of JCaweinstein
4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark reddish brown, seems slightly hazy. White head did not stick around for a very long time.
This smells good. I smell caramel, wood, and bourbon. Very rich aromas which are intoxicating.
Very and sweet, flavors of wood bourbon and rich malts.
This beer is very rich and smooth. It coats the mouth and warms the body as it goes down. Leaves a nice woody/sweet after taste.
It's a cold rainy night in Southwest Ohio and I can't think of another beer that would be better in this moment. I will seek this one out again next year!

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Photo of fitrock2112
4.85/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well, here it goes. This is probably one of my top two beers that I've had so far. I keep going from KBS to this and back and forth in a good way.

Poured the luscious liquid from a 12 ounce bottle in to a pint glass.

A - The brown liquid pours nicely with minimal head. The viscosity lets you know that this is a quality Scotch Ale.

S - Bourbon, more bourbon, toffee, roasted malts, and little dark fruit maybe raisin.

T - Ridiculous, this is the shit. The stars have aligned and the gods can now destroy the earth, because I have tasted the nectar of the gods. I'm tasting toffee, bourbon, carmel, roasted malts, butterscotch each fighting for your taste buds but all equally winning their pursuit to blend so evenly. This beer is so well blended for a barrel aged beer that it is hard to comprehend. Wow, just WOW!

M - Smooth medium ale leaning towards a heavy, with just enough carbonation for this style.

O - Unbelievably , just a wonderful beer to sip and enjoy on a cool winter night.
Highly Recommended ! CHEERS!!

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Photo of DrewskiWhit
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A for a scotch ale this thing looks amazing. Tons of legs and lacing. Deep deep amber brown color with nice retention especially considering the abv

S caramel, toffee, dark fruits and bourbon. Smells really good

T delicious. Follows the nose almost exactly. Not a huge bourbon character but it is present way on the back end. I would score this a 5 if the flavors hung on a little longer. No alcohol burn.

M maybe perfect for the style. Sometimes beers like this have so little carbonation combined with the high abv they become hard to drink. This is scary easy to drink

O excellent beer. Was really looking forward to this one. As previously stated its perfect for the cold weather. Reminds me a bit of Bois with much higher drinkability and without the crazy alcohol presence. This has nice big flavors but tastes very controlled and balanced like most founders offerings. I could drink this everyday.

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Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

this beer causes conflict within myself. Its a very well crafted beer, great tasting but an absolute brutal bully of a beer, even compared to the founder KBS, which is stronger but more drinkable. I dare not try more than one in an evening due to past experiences doing so, seriously, drink more than 2 of these and you are in big trouble! that being said, its still one of my favourites, especially as a sipper on a cold winter night . when used in moderation and drank slowly its a revelation, but drink with caution, the bourbon can sometimes be a little overpowering,but im aging some to see if that mellows it out a bit, but all in all its a great beer.

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Photo of NotAlcoholicJustAHobby
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L-Dark, Dark brown almost black with a 1/2 inch off white head. The head recedes to a half centimeter ring with excellent lacing.
S-Malty sweetness with traces of bourbon and hints of roast.
T- a complex mix of malty sweetness, bourbon, caramel and alcohol throughout. Finishes with alcohol warmth.
F- Mouthfeel is thinner than the taste suggests. All the flavor of a stout with the mouthfeel of an ale. A really great combo which makes it stand out.
O-One of the best beers I've ever tasted. My new favorite wee heavy moving just ahead of Old Chub. I'll be buying this whenever I see it.

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Photo of ejquin
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: Cola brown with very thin white head that fades quickly.

S: Loads of vanilla and bourbon. Litt le bit of caramel and some molasses sweetness and a slight amount of fruitiness

T/M: Medium and chewy. Taste is of caramel and lots of vanilla, though not an overpowering bourbon character, fades to slight hop biterness. Milky sweet. Feels strong but not 10%.

D: Above average for the abv.

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Photo of kennylopez
4.74/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: a clear light brownish amber color with a fingers worth of tan white head that slowly faded to a light film. There are spots of lacing as I drink it.

Smells: a sweet caramel, and scotch aroma are the backbone in the nose followed by a medium roasted malt and light hop taste. Vanilla is there slightly behind the caramel and oak.

Tastes: a extremely mellow bourbon taste that has the characters like the nose insists with caramel and hints of vanilla. the roasted barley is quite mild but very flavorful. Sweetness finishes it off that resembles a toffee candy.

Mouthfeel: it is 10.2%, yet does not have a burn like it. the mild carbonation leaves a dry aftertaste that lingers with a oak flavored caramel film that leaves me wanting more.

Overall: I like my wee heavy/scotch ales, but this is comparable to a Ola Dubh 30 year reserve by Harviestoun which I enjoyed very much. I have to say I like this brew a little better. I wish it was not a year round release, but I will hunt for when it is in season I suggest give it a try. If you like scotch ales this one is superb.

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Photo of DrinkMoreBigBeers
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Date on bottle is 9/28/12. Side note - Let this one warm up its taste come out the warmer it gets and adds significantly to it.

A - Pours out a a dark dark mahogany brown that looks clear when held up to the light. Produced a half finger yellowish head that died off relatively fast leaving only tiniest of bubbles on the sides of the glass. Not much lacing but leaves nice legs on the walls of the glass.

S - Wow lots of bourbon on the first sniff. It also has a sweet smell, some alcohol to go with the bourbon, vanilla, oak, lots of malty caramel and toffee undertones.

T - Lots of bourbon, oak, vanilla, plenty of peat, with alcohol heat in the background and a lingering bourbon flavor on the palate plus a little funkiness. Can you say sipper please. This really coats the palate with a bourbon then the heat comes in. Not a small beer by any means with a lot of complexity.

M - This is a medium bodied beer that leaves sticky residue on your lips and coats your mouth thoroughly. Carbonated really well for a beer this big which helps keep the flavors moving. Not dry at all. Slick would be a good word for this one.

O - This is one big sipper that demands your attention and is not for the faint of hearted. It definitely comes with extreme flavor and a hell of a kick. Simply amazing. I tried one when it was fresh and this slightly aged one has more pronounced bourbon notes. A must try for bourbon barrel aged beer lover. Cheers!

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Photo of AmishLightning
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: A dark reddish brown with a little bit of head. I am guessing the high alcohol and aging have a tendency to eliminate any head that may form.

Smell: Lots of bourbon with the more darker caramel malts mixed in. The bourbon has a overpowering trait.

Taste: There is a lot of vanilla and oak in the taste. I don't feel like it is the traditional bourbon aged beer. The malts seem to be better balanced with the bourbon than others that I've had. I would still like to see more of the malts making an appearance other than just adding sweetness to the taste profile.

Mouthfeel: Thick and lightly carbonated, as the norm.

Overall: Not a bad beer, but I feel like the hype kind of ruined the experience for me. I wouldn't say this is a standout in its style, but it is a bit more unique than others because of the emphasis of the vanilla taste.

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Photo of d0ggnate
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Another extra from pwoods. I've had this one before, but am always excited to get good Founders beer out here.

Pours to my glass with a deep amber, near brown color. Thickly laced off-white head lingers and laces my glass. Color appears opaquely red when held to light.

Nose is of smooth bourbon, slight wood aroma and hints of vanilla. Taste is more of the same. Deliciously smooth. Better than I remember.

Mouthfeel is very creamy and dessert-like. This one is truly a treat. I could really go through these regularly if we could get them out here.

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Photo of gyllstromk
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, brown/red. Nose is caramel; dark fruits like raisin or cranberry creating tartness; chocolate; toffee. Flavor builds the nose to add creamy vanilla, sweetness, and a tart, carbonated bite on the finish. The vanilla and "oakiness" has a welcome similarity to the Kentucky Breakfast Stout.

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Photo of caskstrength
3.51/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Should review this one, had it a bunch of times.

Pours dark, dark red. Minial white head, fizzy, goes away pretty quick. The color is inviting, which is something I don't think I've said before.

Smells are sugary bourbon. Cherry coke too. Like a Jack and Coke, actually.

Tastes like a Jack and Coke. Sweet carmel and brown sugar with bourbon swirling around it. Maybe some fruit in the background, but mostly brown sugar and bourbon. Not a lot else going on.

Mouthfeel is thinner than it could be, but it works. Besides, Jack and Coke isn't that thick, so this shouldn't be either. Some booze lingers on the aftertaste.

I want to like this more than I do. It's good, it's a fine bourbon barrel beer, but it's not that exciting and when I'm done I rarely crave another one.

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Photo of MrStark
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter glass.

Appearance is a dark reddish brown with a small off white head that unfortunately dissipated quickly.

Smell is has a nice caramel sweetness to it with vanilla as well. The bourbon is there for sure in strength, to me making it a quite inviting aroma.

Taste is what the smell would make me expect, a pretty heavy bourbon flavor. And although its strong, its certainly doesn't seam overpowering and makes for a nice rich and sweet flavor with a bit of bitterness towards the end.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth. Seams pretty slick on tongue and is quite pleasant.

Drinkability is great! I think it goes down quite easy for the amount of alcohol. I don't think I would say its a session beer though as it might sneak up on you. This is something I would have one in a night. Something to savor every now and then.

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Photo of powpig2002
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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Photo of warrenout330
4.97/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Mad props to Wendy at VE for my reserve on this 4pk!

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my delirium snifter

A- poured a deep reddish brown color.. Ruby highlights to the curves of the glass.... resembles a liquid Ruby in my glass to the light. Off white head, quickly dissovles to nothing minimal lacing

S- big whiff reveals a smack of Bourbon, vanilla and white oak undertones. Dark fruit highlights in the back.

T- like the nose but some more pronounced. Big Bourbon flavors, smooth vanilla, light earthy undertones of oak. Dark cherry twist for sweetness..ting of booze lingering.Huge flavors going on but the balance is the biggest thing going on here

M- smooth, creamy, oily body... light carbonation, kind of prickly on the tongue maybe from the booze?

O- my first experience with this brew, very happy I have the pleasure sipping this right now. Very well done, huge flavors with huge balance.. now I see what all the hype is about...def putting my other 2 way for a couple of years....

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Photo of blankenhoney
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from 10/3/13, poured into a snifter. Thanks to Nick for throwing this in as an extra.

A: Dark amber coming out of the bottle, but nearly black in the glass. Light khaki lacing.

S: Oak, dark fruits, caramel, and booze; light vanilla; lots of barrel and alcohol.

T: Bourbon-soaked butterscotch; sweet and malty; slight bitterness from the hops; oaky and vanilla sweetness on the aftertaste.

M: Smooth and oily; coats the palate nicely.

O: Not much of a wee heavy fan, and I didn't enjoy this beer the first time I had it. But after having it on tap and again in the bottle, it's really grown on me. Smell is fantastic, and taste and mouthfeel work together for a great drinking experience.

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Photo of hail_seitan
4.79/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into brandy snifter.

A - Radiant auburn body. Quite a bit of sediment, which is likely tasty bourbon sludge. A thin off-white head forms on the top.

S - Well, true to the style it smells like bourbon. Hints of vanilla, burnt sugar, and cherry also are present.

T - Right away, a luxurious oaky vanilla bourbon flavor rushes over the palate. Then comes a malty biscuit and cookie sweetness typical of Scottish ales, with black cherry and a hint of smoke. The finish is wonderfully boozy and comes full circle with a return to bourbon. Delightful.

M - Thick without being syrupy. The carbonation is just enough to lift up the heft of the booze.

O - Right up there with KBS. The barrel-aging process brings a new layer of depth Founders' heavy Scottish ale, which can be a tad on the sweet side. I find that at first this beer can have quite bite from the alcohol, but after 6 months to a year in the cellar it mellows out to be just about perfect.

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Photo of raverjames
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark amber with a 2 finger head. Head retention is great.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, smoke, and caramel.

T: Roasty and malty. If you could make a beer taste just like bourbon, it would be just like this. Tons of oak and vanilla.

M: Smooth, sweet, and rich. A tad sweet, though it compliments the heavy bourbon flavor and booze.

D: Great beer that is pretty easy to drink for the abv. Perfect brew for a cold night in front of the fire. Founders doesn't seem to make a bad beer, and this is just another example of their best work.

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Photo of brantadid
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice mahogany color with a thin white head. Beer appeared viscous in the glass. Lots of body.

Tons of bourbon and oak in the nose. Tons of malt in the nose.

Wow! Tons of bourbon on the palate. Some spicy from the bourbon barrels. Malty, burnt flavors. Lots of vanilla in the back palate.

Not much carbonation and viscous, coating mouthfeel. Very silky on the palate. Alcohol is definately present, but not in a harsh way. It is nice and warming.

Overall, a fun, slow sipper. I wish I had more.

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Photo of Wolfpack2005
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Poured into my DFH snifter with about .5 finger head that didn't last very long. Dark brown/amber in color .

S-Picking up a pleasant mixture of scents, mainly dominated by vanilla, oak, and whiskey. Also subtle hints of caramelized sugars and alcohol.

T-A nice sweet malt flavor opens up the taste buds for the strong bourbon flavor that balances the maltiness perfectly. Also tasting notes of dark fruit, vanilla, and oak.

M-Very smooth, medium body with mild carbonation.

O-An excellent beer one that I will get on an annual basis. Not usually a fan of the scotch ales, but the bourbon/oak in this one balances out the sweetness perfectly.

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Photo of drgonzo3705
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice dark brown with slight ruby hues and a decent head that recedes to a thin film but leaves very nice lacing in the glass.

S: Nice soft bourbon smell fills the nose with the candied malts hiding in the back.

T: A sweet caramel taste with the bourbon riding along. The bourbon is pretty well balanced here.

M: Smooth, thick, and creamy makes this beer oh so good.

D: The only place where this loses points is the ABV. The 10.2% it clocks in at this year (2008) is pretty well hidden but a few could easily catch up to you. I love this beer though and plan on stocking up on the next release!

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Photo of bowersdm
4.66/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - shade of dark brown with a small (less than 1cm) tan-like head. The head was gone almost instantly.

S - mmm....a hint of chocolate, lots of alcohol, bourbon/scotch like alcohol smell, malt, vanilla, and oak. mmm....

T - malt followed by the slightest note of chocolate, then hops, then alcohol, and finally, vanilla. Tasty stuff if I may say so myself.

M - I haven't had many scotch ales, so I'm not 100% on this one, but it had a pleasant feel compared to the other scotch ale that I've had.

D - I have a problem with prolonged drinking of scotch/bourbon or anything flavored as such. I can have one fine, but I start to feel sick after that (past puking episode). Because of the alcohol, the brew was a slow drinker and I wouldn't be able to put more than one down, but other's probably could.

A great beer all around.

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Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,651 ratings.