Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,591 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,591
Hads: 7,095
Avg: 4.24
pDev: 23.11%
Wants: 932
Gots: 2,528 | FT: 243
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 1,591 | Hads: 7,095
Photo of JackRWatkins
3.83/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

in a snifter from the bottle at 2 years (bo 10/24/13)

A:1 finger head, creamy, deep red to cola brown, fairly translucent but dark

S: immediate bourbon and malt, subtle vanilla

T: shockingly smooth, sweet malt and strong presence, well balanced, not a trace of bitterness to be found, vanilla, heavy brown sugar notes like a cookie or a graham cracker at times, very drinkable

M: creamy

O: a lovely beer, I will buy this again if I can find it, way better than kbs ever thought about being, relaxing and smooth almost calming, very much worth your time

 557 characters

Photo of madelfonatree
4.66/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 9/26/2014 enjoyed September 4, 2015 at World of Beer Front Street Columbus Ohio in a pint glass.

Look -Murky clay with thin white head. Fine bubbles. Blotchy lacing.

Smell - Bourbon. 90s Kroger tobacco aisle. Little fruit.

Taste - Bourbon. Raisin. Very plain and straight forward but good.

Feel - Smooth. No bomb. 50 IBU? Couldn't tell.

Overall - 2014 Josh couldn't choke this down but 2015 Josh is begging for more.

 436 characters

Photo of MunsonRoyE
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 9/26/14

This was an amazing beer!
The first few sips were mediocre. However, from there on out, the flavors kept on coming out and changing in nothing but a good way. It just kept on getting better and better until the very last sip, and I was sad that my glass, unfortunately, was empty. I've never had one fresh, but at 11 months old, it was simply delicious. I have three more in the cellar and I don't know if they're going to be in there much longer!

 466 characters

Photo of PolarBear3
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a dark brown colour with slightly off white head that dissipates to a thin film

S - Aromas are sweet toffee apple, candy/cinnamon with bourbon/vanilla. Very intense on the nose all round.

T - Slightly boozy but fairly well balanced with the toffee and vanilla very prominent up front, get some figs, raisins before a mild bitterness and spicy finish.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation but fairly smooth

O - A very good ale, booziness is there and I am not a fan of the slight bitter finish but overall a must to try

 537 characters

Photo of Jayroda82
4.51/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ok... Bottled 10.15.14...... Just cracked this bad boy open on 8.2.15.....

I find myself at my local distributor carrying out a prairie bomb, breakfast oatmeal stout, or kbs(when around) and now this. I love how the kbs is a magician and changes sip to sip from heavy vanilla notes to coffee... The bomb and breakfast a solid stout throughout.... Now this one was a pleasant surprise. Perfectly balanced... No signs of rubbing alcohol. Maybe i got the lucky 4 pack, but this will be my new favorite go to beer in the colder months. If u see it, try it. Good job founders.

 572 characters

Photo of Andrewharemza
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown, Nice and thick mouthfeel with soft carbonation. The barrels have added a very pronounced whisky nose, and it’s a good one, with wood, vanilla and a bit of smokiness. Dried fruit too, which carries into the taste, alongside lots of deep malt, syrup and some smoky spice. Finish is lingering pepper and tar.

 320 characters

Photo of danh53
2.65/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Dark amber pour with one finger head that dissipates quickly and leaves some lacing. Aroma is brown sugar, vanilla, and bourbon soaked raisins and figs. It smells sweet and the alcohol is present, but on the taste, the alcohol really comes through in a bad way. I get rubbing alcohol from start to finish and that pretty much overpowers the other flavors. There is a slight dryness from the oak, but I really don't taste much barrel character or bourbon for that matter, just alcohol. I got the same thing when I tried it fresh last fall and the age has done nothing to change it. I'm going to save my last bottle for 2016 to see if the alcohol smooths out, but safe to say I'll be avoiding the 2015 batch when it hits shelves.

 727 characters

Photo of do_ob
4.64/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On draft into a mason jar. Poured into a tulip.

Dark, ruby red in color with a sticky 1 finger head of tan foam. Sweet bourbon, vanilla, and cocoa on the nose. This beer has a wonderful aroma. Incredibly smooth and creamy mouthfeel, while not being overly dense. There's a smooth, boozy sweetness immediately upon tasting, followed by an enveloping, evolving array of choclate, vanilla, and dark fruit. These flavors only blend even better as it warms on the palate. The finish is as smooth as silk, and the aftertaste is sticky and sweet.

For anyone reading this review, trying to decide whether or not to try this beer - do it. Buy it, trade for it, whatever. I love bourbon barrel aged beers, and this is probably the most well balanced BBA brew I've ever had. Don't let the 10.2% scare you away if you don't like boozy beers. There's plenty of bourbon flavor, but little "booziness" to this beer. This one exceeded my expedcations.

 937 characters

Photo of mlockman
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I had this almost eight months after bottling, and perhaps that is why I was left wishing for a bit stronger bourbon flavor. Still, very good bourbon flavor, just wish it was more intense.

 188 characters

Photo of -Rick
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: a dark brown with red hues
S: vanilla, bourbon, oak, smoke, this this is loaded
T: Sweet caramel, light hear, toffee, roasted malts. Like the smell, loaded with taste
F: creamy and smooth, not real carbonation to speak of
O: a great brew. would certainly try again

 269 characters

Photo of GOBLIN
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In my humble opinion . . . This is the only Founders beer (so far) that lives up to the hype (no I haven't had CBS). Aromas of oak, leather and vanilla. Flavors are spot on. This is a terrific beer. So smooth and highly drinkable for a + 10% abv barrel aged beer too.

 267 characters

Photo of scottbrew4u
4.84/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This beer is exceptional and as smooth a barrel aged beer as I have ever had. Complex esters and rich malty layers do not go over the top with sweetness. Bourbon barrel highlights are what takes this beer up a few notches.

 222 characters

Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

 658 characters

Photo of nucloid
1.81/5  rDev -57.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.25

Its' incredible how heavy this beer is. Even sipping this was impossible. Its' almost as if I was drinking Soy Sauce. I would like to point out that this is was my first heavy beer. Ill have to work my way up the line of heavy beers.

 233 characters

Photo of MUTINY
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Quick review. The definition of flavor with the bourbon component is beyond compare. This beer is without a doubt the finest bourbon beer that I've tasted to date.

 165 characters

Photo of TheElectricOne
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Track 84 in Warwick, RI:

Appearance: a dark, slightly reddish brown, with a quickly dissipating off white head. Persistent lacing throughout the beer as drunk though.

Aroma: Lots of vanilla, along with some spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. I almost always get vanilla from bourbon-aged brews, and this one was especially powerful, along with LOTS of oaky bourbon. From the smell, I expected lots of boozy heat.

Taste: Much more well-balanced than the bourbon-vanilla rich aroma given off. Really, really smooth with a nice malty backbone. Very sweet, but with quite a bit of bourbon and the vanilla mentioned above. A slow drinker, but extremely enjoyable nonetheless.

Feel: Medium-bodied, with lots of lingering bourbon heat. Creamy and smooth.

Overall: A very unique tasting brew, a little light in color and texture, but very rich in aroma and flavor.

 870 characters

Photo of Get_Lowell
3.84/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Sporadic foam, leaves an enticing lacing along the glass, dark brown body.
Smell: Oak, caramel, sugar.
Taste: Caramel hits you on the front, mild toffee flavor, perhaps cherry as well, kind of drops off at the end.
Feel: Medium body, kind of surprised me at first because I was expecting more of a barley wine body.
Overall: While it wasn't everything that I had hoped this did have some really enjoyable nuances on the palate. Within the style it definitely deserves commendation.

 488 characters

Photo of maxifunk777
3.78/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A good beer not a great beer. It's place in my cellar it's a beer I will drink when I don't want to drink one of my A or A+ beers knowing its an enjoyable B beer.

 163 characters

Photo of EMV
4.81/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

In bottle poured into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a dark mahogany brown, approaching black. A nice head leaves delicate lacing on the glass.

S: Bourbon. Delicious oaky bourbon plus alcohol, with undertones of malts and light hops.

T: Just a glorious beer, boozy with a wonderful bourbon flavor on top of the malts and caramel of the wee heavy. Mild hop bitterness at the finish keeps it honest.

F: Thick and chewy, moderate carbonation and smooooth.

O: One of my favorites, and great quality as expected from Founders. Serve at cellar temperature for best flavor, and if you like bourbon aged beers this is one of the best. It really works well with the wee-heavy style and the malts are dominant but there's definite complexity once you get past the alcohol. Boozy and delicious. It mellows a little bit with a few extra months of aging but it rarely lasts long enough in my house to get there.

 905 characters

Photo of Octavarium77
4.99/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Really one of the best BB brews (brews in general really) out there. Pour this one into a tulip after dinner, sit by the fireplace with a good book, sip, and let how lucky you are to be alive sink in.

 201 characters

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this from a 12 oz. bottle and on tap at the Bryant lake Bowl.
A: Brilliant chestnut under a half inch light tan foam collar.
S: bourbon, alcohol, rich malt.
T: Alcoholic, definite bourbon, some chocolate notes, kettle sugars, malty-grainy spice, bitter finish, vanilla.
F: Chewy, smooth, medium carbonation,
O: Manages a three way balance between the hops, the alcohol and the bitters. A pleasant after dinner beer.

 424 characters

Photo of Plower
1.72/5  rDev -59.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I tried this beer and thought I was going to hurl after I finished 3/4 of it. Being the man that I am, I gave it another try and got to 1/2. Yeah, I got half this down then I puked up the two bags of BBQ corn nuts I had just eaten.

So after that happened and me being the man I am I went back to the other 1/2 and finished it.

Was it the BBQ corn nuts? I don't know, but I'm calling it like I see it. This had a water whiskey flavor and a fierce alcohol burn. Who drinks this? It doesn't make you a man. This is for bastards...literally.

Yeah, my review was harsh but so was this beer.

 591 characters

Photo of HowardTheDuck
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Doing a side-by-side with '13 and '14 bottles, as air just have one '12 left that I'll save for a longer vertical in the future. No distinguishable difference on the pour. On the nose, the '13 has a slightly stronger bourbon scent. That carries through to the taste as well, with the '13 also having a just a touch more caramel sweetness. This makes me assume they keep their bourbon barrels on a 3-year rotation like they do with KBS. Overall there's not much difference at all between the batches, now 5 months and 17 months old. Will be curious to see how much difference is present with a bigger lineup in a couple years.

 625 characters

Photo of Catracho5
4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Review for 2013 Backwoods Bastard
12 ounce bottle poured into a Belgian style tulip

A: Dark brown with an off white head that vanished fairly quick, little to no carbonation, looks kind of cloudy, minor lacing.

A: Bourbon sweetness up front, picking up the malts, caramel toffee sweetness with some roasted nut aromas,

T: Bourbon, malts, caramel, toffee, some roasted nut flavors, very nice dry finish, picking up some of the alcohol, slight bitterness at the end that fades fairly quick, tastes really good.

M: Medium mouthfeel with a dry finish slight alcohol burn.

O: Very drinkable, very smooth, tasty, it’s a 2013 and the bourbon and alcohol leave a slight burn on the palate, but overall, very good. Kind of reminds me of a barrel aged barleywine as the Scotch ale characteristics are absent.

 806 characters

Photo of sweet-maltman_1
4.94/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It is rare that I find a beer that just makes me want to have more than one at a sitting. Backwoods Bastard is just that. It is a very complex brew, similar to a good Scotch Ale but with a lot of subtle complexities. Obviously that comes from the aging process in Bourbon Casks. The taste is dark fruit, peat, chocolate and bourbon. It has a little more hops on the finish than I generally like, but this is a world class brew. Watch out however if you do engage and have more than a couple at a sitting because it is a 10.2% brew and they do sneak up on you. Cheers.

 575 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,591 ratings.