1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,195 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,195
Reviews: 1,420
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 630
Gots: 1,524 | FT: 139
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders Backwoods Bastard Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,195 | Reviews: 1,420 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WYVYRN527


4.13/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce brown bottle.

A: Pours a hazy mahogany color with a thin eggshell head that has little retention. Lacing is minimal, but the beer itself coats the edge of the glass.

S: Nose is sweet, with caramel, honey, toasted oak and vanilla. There is just a slight hint of charred wood in the backround.

T: Malty notes of caramel, fig, and rasin are present upon sipping at first. It's followed by toasted oak, vanilla and some smoke, along with some warming boozy flavor. Hops do dry out the finish, but are overall masked by the intense flavors brought on by massive amounts of malt and bourbon barrel aging.

M: Massive, full-bodied mouthfeel, great viscosity, and has a long finish.

D: A very good beer for it's style, however, it's high ABV and intense flavor make it a bit heavy to sit down with and enjoy on it's own. It will be interesting to see how it ages.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2010 05:33:24 | More by WYVYRN527
Photo of Gtreid


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

12 oz. bottle purchased at Discount Liquor in the Mke. Poured into my CCB tulip.

A: Rich, brown color. The pour creates a small half inch light, kahki head that leaves a little spotty lace.

A: Burbon, vanilla, and caramel. Pretty sweet. The burbon really takes center stage in the nose. I get a very pronouces earthiness as well.

T: Pretty nice. The burbon is not overwhelming but you know it's there. The sweetness is in the form of the vanilla and caramel. I also get a small chocolate flavor. It finishes smooth and tangy.

M: As with most barrel aged brews, the mouthfeel is slick and smooth. Pretty low carbonation levels, heavy body.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is above average for the style, the high ABV with the burbon will limit it some. Overall, I am very pleased with this brew. The barrel did its job here, very solid, and recommended. Skal.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2010 20:09:52 | More by Gtreid
Photo of Rado


4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

12-23-2013 18:18:00 | More by Rado
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 utopiajane

New York

4.26/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a rich brown. Mahogany with hues and highlights of ruby. Hazy cola color. Nose is rich and sweet. Leaves a thin ring and alcohol legs behind. Bourbon and oak. Earthy grain and dark fruit. This beer has every malt sweetness on the nose. Caramel, toffee, sugar. Fragrant vanilla and dark fruits. The taste is charming. Smooth and creamy body that boasts a sweet richness. The fruits are dried dates, raisins and figs. The vanilla adds smoothness and the bourbon enhances the lush sweetness. It finishes dry and pleasantly boozy. Has an earthy peat character underneath that offsets all the sweetness so it is not cloying.

Wonderful! Drinks big with an intense malt character that is deep and full.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2013 14:06:43 | More by utopiajane
Photo of KAP1356


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

Reviewed from notes. Had with Mike Stevens at the Founder's event at Capone's during PBW. Poured into a snifter...

A - Pours a deep amberish burgandy color with a nice beige head, about .5 fingers thick, that recedes to a film on the top.

S - Bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar, caramel all right off the bat. Some oak is noticed as is some fruits as well.

T - Caramel, brown sugar, vanilla goodness right up front. Bourbon and oak follow on the palate and finishes with some boozey notes. Slightly biscuity notes as well rounding out the sweetness of the rest of what's going on.

M - Medium to heavey bodied beer with moderate carbionation. Creamy texture on the tongue.

O - More and more, this is becoming a favorite of mine. Really like how the barrel integrates into the base beer and comes out a winner. Thanks Mike!

Serving type: on-tap

07-12-2011 17:20:47 | More by KAP1356
Photo of birdsellam


2.5/5  rDev -42.3%

02-11-2013 18:26:32 | More by birdsellam
Photo of sludgegnome


4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

03-10-2012 21:06:56 | More by sludgegnome
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 ZachKelly


4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

12-08-2013 16:27:50 | More by ZachKelly
Photo of HoppyBastard2


4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

02-16-2014 11:19:14 | More by HoppyBastard2
Photo of thufflife


4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

06-19-2014 16:46:35 | More by thufflife
Photo of Murchmac


2.38/5  rDev -45%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Well Younger35, you can't win them all.

The picture of Gandalf the Grey as a hillbilly farmer on the label should give it away. Pours a brownish brackish like the marsh lands frodo crossed with Sean Astin.

Smells cloying and sweet? Redundant, Gollum Gollum.

Tastes sticky icky sweet and alcoholy, like a pint from the green dragon and the bartendress that samwise gange eventually marries.

Aftertaste of stinginess, the beer turns blue when orcs are near.

I can see how some people like this beer, for me, it's like Mordor where the very air you breathe is poison.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2009 04:28:47 | More by Murchmac
Photo of Mersh


3/5  rDev -30.7%

12-29-2013 03:43:44 | More by Mersh
Photo of RedHaze


4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

02-20-2013 04:06:25 | More by RedHaze
Photo of Kenai4


4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

02-05-2012 16:41:19 | More by Kenai4
Photo of fehrminator

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

04-05-2013 17:08:16 | More by fehrminator
Photo of polopaul20


4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

08-27-2013 19:37:27 | More by polopaul20
Photo of TheMultiYeast


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

Pours very dark brown with no head. A few slowly rising bubbles.

Aroma is nutty, malty, woody, and sweet with hints of booze, cedar and a tinge of buttercream toffee.

Taste is also a malt bomb. Sweet with plenty of bourbon notes. Fuck yea. Some more candy-like sweetness, warmth, caramel.

Not a huge body on this but just enough..

Pretty damn good. Can't wait to see how it mellows out.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2012 05:22:02 | More by TheMultiYeast
Photo of jroberts8811


4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

11-16-2013 04:54:20 | More by jroberts8811
Photo of huntermop

South Carolina

4/5  rDev -7.6%

06-25-2014 20:05:54 | More by huntermop
Photo of Slay40


4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

11-02-2013 01:45:12 | More by Slay40
Photo of NonicPanic


3.5/5  rDev -19.2%

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


4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

01-21-2013 16:14:00 | More by leedorham
Photo of bobhits


3.38/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I thankfully have the mid afternoon sun in my eyes so I could hold this one up and really see the color. Deep ruby with so much yeast and haze in there you almost feel impressed that light gets through. There’s a cap of foam after an aggressive pour, but it only lasts seconds and leaves a touch of white that calling head would be an insult to head.

Hints of oak and vanilla over a sweet malty back bone. Some sweet caramel notes at the finish from the base beer, but they are far away.

This beer is a rich combination of rather intensely sweet caramel malt with a hot and powerful vanilla and oak dominated bourbon. There really isn’t anything else to say. There’s a lot of flavor and subtlety to these qualities but no hops or combinations of malt flavors.

Dirty bastard is a thick beer with a lot of body to it. This one is no difference, I’d say it is on the heavy side of the style and only big stouts are thicker. That said there’s minimal carbonation so this beer drinks a touch flat. This one is also very hot, way too hot to be only 10.2%.

I know a lot of people who really look forward to this one and hype it up a good bit. For me I can’t say I’m in that group. I love bourbon but frankly I was bored to death by Dirty Bastard. This beer is rather tasty and I am putting a few bottles aside to see if age helps, but frankly this one finds itself in that special place where it isn’t a great late night sipper or a nice pairing for a meal.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2011 15:39:26 | More by bobhits
Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 5,195 ratings.