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Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard

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1,590 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 1,590
Hads: 7,091
Avg: 4.24
pDev: 23.11%
Wants: 932
Gots: 2,534 | FT: 244
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
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Reviews: 1,590 | Hads: 7,091
Photo of distant-lover
4/5  rDev -5.7%

My neighbor was kind enough to share not one but two bottles of this woodsy aged oak goodness. If I can locate it within a reasonable distance I would for sure snag a sixer.

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Photo of Severdali
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful beer.

Boozy, woody, medicine-y, sweet toffee caramel, Absolutely nothing unpleasant about this beer, to me. booze soaked fruits like a previous reviewer has posted. Taste is fantastic. Oh so smooth and amazing, vivacious yet balanced ultra cream in the mouth. Especially for a "scotch" (?) ale. Delicious. The 10 percent warms your soul in the best, smoothest way. Smooth smooth malt. Loving the absence of bitterness in the beer. Could drink it any day.

Dude at my store had a 4 pack left and sold me one. I should have bought all four. oops. Buy it if you can find it.

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Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
4.89/5  rDev +15.3%

This beer is one of my top 10 of all time, and I'm glad it is so easily attainable when it is released. It pours a dark brown with a reddish tint. Not much of a head and it quickly dissipates to nothing. The smell leaves you with the impression that this will be a sweet beer, similar to a Southern Tier brew. The taste strikes me as being an almost perfect balance of malts and bourbon. The aftertaste is probably the best of any beer I have ever tried. It leaves you with a sticky sweetness and a slight hint of oak. The complexity is just amazing and if you sip the beer (as you should) by the end of your glass the temperature may be 10 degrees higher which accentuates even more flavors you may not have been conscious of before. The more you drink this mysterious concoction, the more you appreciate such a well crafted beer.

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Photo of obrike
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This one is a beauty.

I love Dirty Bastard and was pretty stoked to finally try this one.

Poured a dark, ruby-brown with a small head that left a tan ring throughout. Some lace, but not a ton.

Nice smelling brew. Bourbon over sweet malt. Some vanilla, maybe toffee thrown in there too.

Can certainly taste the bourbon notes on the first sip. Not over powering though. Just a great mesh of bourbon and sweet malt. A lot going on here, perhaps vanilla and cinnamon too? Goes down like butttttaaaa! One smooth mo-fo. A wonderful slow sipper on a cold night.

Founders knocked this one outta the park. Just a fantastic, well crafted beer for those who appreciate a beer a bit out of the norm.

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Photo of Dwkasper
4.75/5  rDev +12%

2014, poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip.

A: Dark amber color, big foamy head with good lacing

S: Sweet bourbon, vanilla, caramel, coffee, toffee, coconut, super complex

T: Smooth up front but this beer kicks. Letting it warm up is letting off so many flavors. Maple syrup, a little banana, vanilla, coconut, this beer is delicious

M: strong carbonation up front, thick mouth feel and then rinses with whiskey.

O: this beer is amazing. Strong like whiskey but smooth

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Photo of PeterParker
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Pours a deep dark ruby-brown. Nearly black. Half finger of head.

Smells divine. Oak, bourbon, cherries, caramel, vanilla, bit of coconut. Such a beautiful smelling beer.

Taste is astonishing. Bourbon undertones with dark smokey malts. Background of vanilla and cherry. Toasty, roasty, smokey and just so good.

Medium body, goes down super smooth. Very slight burn but nothing bad. Nothing not great about this beer.

One of my favorite beers. Super delicious and satisfying.

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Photo of SLeffler27
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L - Very dark reddish-brown, clear with a creamy dark chocolate head that lingers, leaving fine lace and thick rings.

A - Luxurious bourbon and chocolate, lactose and malt, light smoke.

F - Elegantly balanced malt sweetness with bourbon alcohol. Rich layers of powerful flavors yet subtle as well. Lingering finish.

M - Creamy smooth, full body modest fine carbonation, warming alcohol.

O - This is a sipping beer, perfectly built for reading fireside on a cold, snowy Autumn afternoon. Add someone you love to share the calm, and you just might glimpse the meaning of life well lived. This may well be the best beer I have had this year so far.

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Photo of delta490
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep and clear brown. The thin tan head melts away quickly. The aroma smells like you're sitting in the barrel, bourbon sweetness dominating. The taste certainly brings the barrel, with nice notes of vanilla, oak and a hint of the bourbon itself. The body has a nice thickness and silky feeling, with an alcoholic tingle.

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Photo of keithmurray
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 vintage bottled 10/9/2013

Appearance - murky chestnut brown color with tan head

Smell - bourbon, caramel, coconut

taste - bourbon, caramel, coconut, oak, butterscotch

mouthfeel - medium bodied, lower level of carbonation,slight caramel sweetness upfront, spicyness from the oak in the back end

Overall - good barrel aged wee heavy that is worth a try

Price Point - $10.99/4 pk 12 oz bottles

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Photo of docoman
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Tried for first time tonight, wasn't sure what to expect... but exceeded expectations in smell and taste... not usually a scotch ale guy, but when aged in bourbon barrels, this was great beer... highly recommend trying, but starting to get hard to find... only available in November for retailers...

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Photo of Grenvillle
4.75/5  rDev +12%

No beer is perfect, and it is totally by preference. And I will go out and say this is by far the best beer i've had so far. If you love bourbon, this beer is great. Some say this is a sipper, and I agree to enjoy it best. Aroma, look, labeling, very very pleased.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed from a growler in a Duinen snifter, this fantastic scotch ale presents itself with a brilliant brownish red hue and a 1/2 inch thick dissipating head of khaki colored head that leaves light lacing. Nose of bourbon, dark cherries, rich caramel malts, and light peat malts. Flavors are bourbon and warmth up front on this sipper. Caramel malts and dark fruits round out the back of the taste with bourbon and light peat malts with a hint of smoke and earthiness. Subtle, up front, complex, straight forward......a lot going on in this one.


Approach with caution and enthusiasm. Cheers!

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Photo of jdhilt
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%

Pours a two finger, off-white head that slowly fades to a thin layer leaving some lace. Deep ruby color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Nice oak and bourbon nose. Flavor is similar with bourbon and oak, some malty sweetness. The high ABV is hidden. $3.50 for a 12oz bottle from Bert's Better Beers Hooksett, NH.

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Photo of dmgeng
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Got this one by a fluke since it had just gotten to the liquor store 2 hours before I did and it was the last 4 pack.

A - Nice Ruby to brown color that is pretty clear. Very light head but still good lacing while drinking it down.

S - Sweet bourbon smell mixed with strong maltiness and I feel like some coconut and chocolate notes as well. Very complex smell but predominately sweet and boozy.

T - The flavors really accentuate the malt and the sweet caramel tones of the base beer. There is a strong bourbon flavor that carries with it oak, vanilla, and what I believe to be a distinct coconut character. There seems to be no bitterness and the only slight salvation for the sweetness is the alcohol on the back end.

M - Moderate mouth-feel with very light carbonation. Overall it is really thin for what I would have expected especially with all of the sweetness. I akin the body of this beer to mixing some brown sugar, bourbon, and water together.

Overall, this is a pretty good beer definitely worth a high mark but not close to some of the better stouts on the market. If you don't like sweet beers or bourbon this one is probably not a good choice. I don't believe that this beer is worth the $5 a bottle but it does have it's place. I would either skip this one for it's little brother "Dirty Bastard" or step it up and go with a bourbon stout instead of this estranged amalgamation of the two.

Glass- Stout glass

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Photo of JtheHorn
4.75/5  rDev +12%

A- murky, dark color. Looks great in a glass.

S- Caramel, dark fruit, toffee, butterscotch, vanilla, coconut, and light bourbon oakyness. Smells kind of like a barrel aged quad.

T- Massive dark fruit, caramel, toffee, coconut, light bourbon. Such an underrated amazing dark fruit and caramel bomb.

M- smooth and oily. So damn smooth its dangerous.

O- such an amazing beer. I highly recommend this beer. People are saying the 2014 batch is hot or not as good, bullshit. Its just as good. Go out and pick up a couple 4-packs and cellar some.

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Photo of mlhyatt
2.25/5  rDev -46.9%

This beer was a hot mess. The bourbon was hot, the scotch aspect was hot, it tastes like super sugary caramel covered in bourbon. I wouldn't have finished it if I hadn't paid for it. Founders disappoints again.

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Photo of FLima
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled a couple of weeks ago, arrived this minute at the store.
Brown with lots of red lights and a thin caramel head that vanishes right away.
Definitely a bold aroma with tons of bourbon boozy notes. Also, cherries, mild peat and maple.
Nice flavor with lots of cherries and the usual suspect, monsieur Bourbon. Hints of molasses, coconut, oak, cocoa, marzipan?!?, maple syrup and vanilla.
Full body, but not that heavy, with low carbonation. Alcohol of 10.2% abv numbs palate, but it feels much lower and it complements its flavor.
This is bold alcoholic Scottish ale. If you dig bourbons, you will find your life meaningless before tasting this beer. But similarly, you need to like this Yankee liquor to embrace this beer. Awesome as it warms up, becoming a great sipper.

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Photo of Martyrob
4.79/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I love this beer. I had some of the 2013 batch for the first time a month ago and when it came out I bought 16 bottles of the 2014 batch and have had it on tap whenever I see it. fantastic beer!

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Photo of denver10
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Pours dark maroon with a slight dirty white head that quickly recedes. Aroma showcases that bourbon barrel wonderfully with some soft bourbon, oak, and vanilla and it pairs well with the beer which offers raisin, fig, cherry and caramel. Flavor is downgrade; decent but not excellent. Bourbon stand on top of a thick malt foundation that does not come close to offering anything close to the depth I got from the aroma. Dark fruits and caramels are there but they don't really jump out at me, what I get in that first wave of flavor is all that there is, nothing really builds or evolves. Nothing new really comes at me mid sip or in the finish. Maybe a touch of hops are there mid to end stream, but minimal. A fuller mouthfeel, no activity. Overall, this one underwhelmed me in all honesty. In part because my expectations were sky high. A decent beer nothing outstanding and definitely not worth the $18 I spent on it.

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Photo of musicsherlock
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Slightly darker than ruby, almost burgundy...thin rim of cream head with wine like lacing.

Smells medicinal , in a good way. Dark fruits.

Strikingly oaky, malty, bitter. Little to no alcohol sensation at first, hotter as it warms. Subdued hint of bourbon.

Tickling of the tongue, more carbonation than expected yet smooth none the less

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Photo of gjoker321
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Bottled: 10/13, Drank 11/14. Tulip FOAM glass.
Ar - Notes of intense caramel up front. Followed by oak and a whiskey perception.
Ap - Intense and heavy, dark brown with opaque brown highlights. Clear, small head that dissipates quickly.
T - Strong malt notes, light alcohol fruitiness that cleans the palate of an otherwise intense maltiness. Hoppy bitterness. Light alcohol harshness comes out as it warms. Notes of tobacco and earthiness dominate the finish. Once again a hop presence is perceived and amplified by the alcohol that becomes more apparent as it warms.
Overall - An intense, complex ale that shows great depth of malt character with a surprising complexity of alcohol notes. Oak character is a bit one dimensional but not overpowering of the wonderful underlying beer. Just enough hop presence to make this behemoth of a beer more drinkable. I have a feeling this might have been a bit harsh young but is good now. And probably would have been better in another year. Definitely one that holds up to age.

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Photo of dahlen22
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Appearance: A dark amber with a small amount of head.
Aroma: Vanilla, bourbon.
Taste: Smooth up front with deep malt, bourbon, vanilla, a burnt oak wood flavor and a warming in the finish.
Overall: Was told to get this. Pricy, but very good. The alcohol is hidden very well, but at 10.2%, would not have more than two in a sitting. A nice "younger brother" to the KBS (which is obviously better, but hard to get). Would def. get another four pack. Cheers!!

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Photo of Jasonclick
3/5  rDev -29.2%

This is my first time having this beer (2014) and I love Bourbon Barrel Aged beers but this one is way too much bourbon. It's pretty much like bourbon that was aged in a beer barrel. No head. Low carb. Served in my Oskar Blues Rocks Glass which looks like a glass you'd drink whiskey from... very fitting. Founders- calm down the bourbon. It takes away from the beer.

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Photo of glass_house
4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter

Pours a dark mahogany with deep garnet highlights when held to the light. Not completely opaque, but close. The off-white head is very thick and creamy. Leaves behind a thin collar with minimal lacing. First thing I smell is rich vanilla. Then some spicy bourbon heat. Subsequent sniffs reveal smoke, caramel, cocoa, toffee, and a hint of butterscotch. You sexy backwoods devil, you.

Soft vanilla and chocolatey malts make the first impression on the palate. Gets warmer in the middle as the oak and bourbon step forward alongside light coffee. An earthy graininess chimes in from the background. Finishes with a quick smack of caramel sweetness and leaves light toffee to linger on my tongue. Silky smooth all the way through. Caresses the palate with a creamy texture that allows all the flavors to shine. Manages to be full, but not thick or heavy. Lower carbonation suits it well.

Thank you sir, I'll have another. This was everything I hoped it would be. Never found it to be overwhelming or out of balance in any facet. Maybe not for everyone, but definitely for me. Hank was right, a country boy can survive.

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Photo of Ngntjp
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%

This is my first time having this beer, and I'm hugely impressed. Split at cellar temperature with the lady after splitting a dirty bastard. I will admit that the neither of us are bourbon BA fans, but this has changed things. The flavors are so well integrated and blend way too well. This is entirely unsafe! It's unfair for it to be so delicious, coming from someone who does not enjoy bourbon in the least. I'm incredibly happy that I got a few of these. Can't wait to try it with several months/a year on it (if I can hold off, of course). Highly, highly recommended!

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Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,590 ratings.