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Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,710 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,710
Hads: 7,594
Avg: 4.25
pDev: 10.59%
Wants: 972
Gots: 2,987 | FT: 276
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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: 1,710 | Hads: 7,594
Photo of hckyfn9999
3.95/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky mahogany with about a finger of cream colored head. Aroma is full of bourbon as you would expect. Caramel, vanilla and fruit also stick out.

Sweet caramel is noticeable upfront. That gives way to slightly boozey, bourbon flavor. A faint smokieness is in the background, with a dry, bitter finish. Body is medium-full. Overall a pretty solid effort and a nice concept.

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Photo of bonkers
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a bottle into a snifter. It is murky and muddy in apperance with a slight white head. The nose is full of bourbon, vanilla, oak, and sweet caramel. The taste is bourbon heavy, but not overbearing. It is nicely rounded out with some vanilla. The finish is hot with alcohol. It has a medium/full body and has nice carbonation. I really liked this. The bourbon really works with this one.

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Photo of ipafool
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aquired via trade with beerbeerbeerbeer, Thanks brother. Pours a dark copper with a nice two finger head. Smell is dominated with bourbon but in a good way. Also vanilla, oak, brown sugar, love it. The taste is a huge sweetness, plums, bourbon, toffee and caramel. Mouthfeel is perfect silky smooth coats well with a full body. Drinkability is off the charts. A sipper for sure but will seek out again and again, Founders nailed it on this one.

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Photo of becktone
4.69/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From notes 11-13-09

Eye: Deep red in color with tints of brown. Maybe some yellow tinted orange highlights in there too. This beer isn't clear but its not murky either, hazy is the best word. Its got some transparency but its not great. Head formation and retention are non-existant, could be the glass...Still color is good, but I'd like to see more from the head, something thick and creamy. Although it doesn't form a nice head or keep one, it still has some lacing...as I sip on this it leaves partial walls, but mostly legs of lace adding to this beer's appetizing appearance.

Nose: Big on the dark fruits, plums rasins. Hints at chocolate too. Overall warm aroma. Vanilla tones are evident. Notes of bourbon are evident. This actually has tones of an empty bourbon barrel in it. Heavy and thick aroma, it feels syurpy. (Now I'm actually getting a slightly and faint charred or smokey aroma...maybe its just me though.) The aroma is almost intoxicating. I really can't ask for more.

Tongue: On first sip alcohol, oakiness, bourbon character, and vanilla are present. Dark fruit comes into play as well. Alcohol is definitely detectable, it adds some balance to the brew as well as create some sweetness. Hints of chocolate, smokiness, and definitely some heavily roasted or burnt flavors. This beer has a great malt backbone and a great malt flavor, but a bit more would be nice to contend with the bourbon heat, oakiness, and alcohol.

Feel and Drinkability: Overall this one feels very nice. It warms once it hits the stomach. The beer is heavy on the palate and carbonation is low as it should be, otherwise it'd be way out of balance. Although its heavy on the palate it is far from syurpy. This is one that I'll not hesitate to pick up again...another great offering from Founders, they cease to amaze me.

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Photo of DrinkingAleToday
3.3/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a deep amber with a thin off-white head that leaves some spotty laceing.

S: Bourbon and alcohol up front, some vanilla and oak, hints of cocoa.

T: Strong bourbon flavor, oak is more mellow,hints of tabacco, malt in the form of toffee and biscuit, some vanilla and cocoa, bitterness in the finish. Too much bourbon, flavors are unbalanced.

M: Very thin and hot, flavor hits you then seems to just dissapear, no finish.

D: A decent beer but too thin and unbalanced, worth trying but not one that I will try again.

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Photo of glid02
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a murky reddish-brown color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of sticky and slightly mineral-like caramel malts with good amounts of whiskey and vanilla. As the beer warms booze-soaked golden raisin aromas waft out.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Caramel malt flavors with huge whiskey and vanilla undertones and hints of butterscotch kick things off. Hints of boozy dark fruits enter into things midway through but allow vanilla to dominate through the mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I was more impressed with the bottle version I had last year as I feel like the whiskey notes were more well-defined. Still, this remains a very good beer and one that's worth a shot.

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Photo of stephens101
3.73/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours brown with amber hues at the edges. A one-finger tan head settles quickly and leaves a thick streak of lace right above the brew.

Smells malty, sugary and spicy. Big sweet malts, cherries and a good hit of red-hot spiciness hit the palate. A streak of carmel gooiness exists. Goes down extra-creamy with some lingering alcohol heat in the end. I would say it's near full-bodied, and almost, but not quite chewy.

More food than beer? Possibly. A good example of the style? More than likely. A damn good beer either way? Definitely.

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Photo of generalnotsew
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Barely any head on this one. Gone in the blink of an eye. Coloring is very coca-cola like. Could all fit the style though.

S: Nice bourbon smell with a lot of oak notes. I had to check to see if it was barrel aged. Did not see anything because it sure smells that way. Hints of caramel. It is like a GOOD bourbon. A bit like the Buffalo Trace I had awhile back.

T: If I had to compare this to anything I would go with a bourbon and coke mixture. I honestly can't describe it any better. Damn warm on the throat too. This is honestly a good alternative to Jack and Coke. I think you could almost fool someone with this.

M: Quite chewy actually. Very thick and warm on the tongue. Carbonation is quite good. And do I mention this stuff warms your tongue and throat?

D: Hmmm. Where do I go with this? It is high if you are a sipper. However I don't see being able to hammer these down but I have to give it a middle score since it is easier to drink than whiskey.

I don't think my score will really reflect how much I am enjoying this. It is my first Wee Heavy. Appearance I gave average but I honestly don't know what these are supposed to look like. Drinkability took a hit but this is a really awesome smelling and tasting beer. Bourbon lovers should really check this out. Get a few for your bourbon loving non craft beer drinking friends. I think this will make then see craft beer in a different light.

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Photo of gabeerfan
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass with a hazy caramel brown with a nice light tan/off white head.
Aromas are pretty much all bourbon. Lots of vanilla, caramel, and candied orange peel. Very boozy, but more subdued than just straight bourbon. Almost no "traditional" beer aromas make it through.
Taste is about the same. Lots of bourbon flavors: vanilla, caramel, candied orange peel. Lots of alcohol flavors. Again, almost no traditional beer flavors in this.
Full-bodied, but pretty smooth mouthfeel. A little syrupy, but not cloying.
Drinkable in the flavor dept., but at 10.2%, it is a definite sipper or night cap.
Great beer. Not sure I could have more than one in a night, but this is a great alternative to regular bourbon.

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Photo of dismal
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a real nice dark red color with a small white head that quickly dissapears but leaves some head around, enough to leave some pretty good lacing down the glass. The smell is very caramel and very malty. There is also some chocolate that is pretty apparent in the smell as well which starts to stand out more the more I smell it. The taste is very malty and pretty chocolatety. There is a hint of vanilla and if you look for it the taste of the bourbon barrels is right there and adds a nice touch to the taste. The mouthfeel is pretty average, but is good for the style. A high ABV but noticeable in the taste. I'd do this whole four pack in a night easily. Overall this is one I've been wanting to try for a while and am glad I did. I've been getting more into this style lately and this one is up there with the better ones I've had lately. Great stuff but then again what do you expect from Founders!

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a dark brazilin cherry with a heavy turbidity. The head was smooth and creamy, khaki in color, and moderately lasting. When held up against the light you can really get a good appreciation for the coloring and the densely packed micro-turbid nature that barely let a sliver of light through totally obstructing any view of the far side of the glass. An extremely vague and faint carbonation could barely be detected which was sparse and slow to rise. Overall a great coloring and turbid affair as well a creamy smooth head, which if lasted longer had a legitimate shot of pefection.

S: The nose was boozy burbon, which was evident upon first opening and remained fairly strong throughout. Carmalized malt, sticky and sweet, with an extract like quality fills the nose with a sweetness along with fresh plums and rum soaked raisins with a grand finale of alcohol laced wooden planks.

t: The flavor was boozy but very well refined and sweet, with the 50 ibus hardly standing a chance at balancing the massive sweetness that this beer throws out at you. Scorched wort, burnt molasses and licorice are all products of this malt forward beer. A huge dry toasted breadiness with dried maple syrup finishes up with caramelized grains and rum soaked raisins. There is as well a nice taste of burbon laced wooden planks. The alcohol is both sweet and spicy but never indicative of its 10.5% nature which I still find hard to believe. The alcohol adds a beautiful flair of flavor and was incredibly smooth and refined.

m: The mouthful was smooth and full bodied, extremely soft and luscious and almost void of any carbonation adding to its fullness as this slides around the tongue. Things finish off with a spicy dry burbon fade.

D: An extremely, almost to much so, drinkable beer considering its high abv. You probably would never guess as the alcohol adds beautiful highlights and added flair, and NOT off balancing hot liquor notes like so many other high abv beers do. Extremely smooth, refined, sweet and joyous to consume.

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Photo of youngleo
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured to a caramelish head and about 1 fingered at that. Head hung around and left some good lacing with every swallow. Brew itself was a dark brown in color. Boozy smell was very evident with the opening of this bottle. Also smelled of caramel and hops. When opening, I didnt think I was going to enjoy this brew. But I was wrong. Strong bourbon taste at first. Then you got a nice creamy slightly bitter taste of booze, caramel and dark roasted coffee. Flavors blended pretty good. Felt thicker in the mouth. Carbonation was good. You couldnt make this a session beer. After drinking I sure had a good buzz. But it wood be nice to enjoy every now and then.

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Photo of hardy008
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reddish brown color with a small tan head with a bsmall amount of lacing. Smells of sweet caramel malt, dark fruit, oak, and bourbon. Has a nice sweet flavor with a little bit of a bitterness at the end. The oak, bourbon, caramel, and dark fruit combine beautifully to make a great beer.

Medium bodied, nicely carbonated, smooth and creamy. This is a very drinkable Scotch Ale. I have to wonder if Founders is capable of making a bad beer? It seems like everything they make is either very good or great.

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Photo of beertunes
3.72/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this bottle as a gift from BA johnmichaelsen when he recently visited my fair town.

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a slightly hazy medium brown with a bit of a reddish tint. the beer poured very still, no head at all, with just a couple whisps of lacing.

A very sweet, caramel flavor enters the nose. Behind the caramel is a touch of earthy malt and a hint of spiciness. The initial taste is sweet backed by a wallop of alcohol. After the first rush the other flavors become apparent, caramel, peat, spice and a touch of hops.

The body does a nice job of coating the tongue and satisfying the tactile sense without being heavy or overly sticky. Drinkability is very good, however at 10% and the sweet caramel aspects of this beer, I probably wouldn't have more than one at a time.

Overall, a very good beer that I enjoyed a lot. If this were more readily available to me, it would be in my regular rotation. Thanks again, John!

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Photo of dmamiano
4.21/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

fairly dark brown with ruby edges while holding to the light. Small tan head that goes away quickly.
sweet malts, boozy, well ripened fruits. Dates or figs come to mind. Really sensing an almost bourbon nose
bourbon notes dominate the palate. Big and boozy..wooden, earthy. Sweet caramel and bing cherries...well may not be bing.
Nice big mouthfell.

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Photo of Gtreid
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of dstc
4.67/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick looking cloudy brown with a slight orange tint. Has a small tan head that falls to nothing but a rim. Not really any lace.

Real nice fruity malt nose. Smells like deep red fruits, plums, raisins. Alcohol is present. Smells awesome.

Taste mimics aroma. Nice and sweet. Fruit taste is nice and backed by big alcohol. Just wonderful.

Medium to full in the mouth with a slight alcohol bite.

This beer is truly awesome. Love it.

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Photo of ballewblake
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From bottle into my Duvel glass.

One finger tan head didn't last long, some soapy bubbles persist on the side. Light lacing. Solid dark brown body. Light malty nose, but not really noticeable. Taste is peppery first, sweet second, alcoholic third. Not really that petty, scotch flavor I was expecting at first. Chocolate notes come through with more drink, almost like a chocolate martini now that I think about it. Mouthfeel is perfect, I like the balance and everything about it on the tongue. Even with the noticeable alcohol, I could drink this pretty easy, no problem. I liked this brew. Thanks to hophead101 for throwing this in the ss09 bif.

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Photo of jera1350
4.54/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a snifter a murky muddy brown with one finger of tan suds which are pretty tight. Leaves some lacing on the glass.

Smells absolutely delicious. Dark rum, sweet coconut milk, vanilla bean and buttercream frosting scents fill the nose.

Very impressive taste that is very similar to the nose. It reminds me of drinking a rum cake with decadent buttercream frosting. A nice whiskey booziness with pleasant vanilla and coconut notes. Some dates and raisin flavors also come through.

For a beer of the ABV and complexity, it's hard to believe it's not fuller bodied. Smooth, but not as full and creamy as one would think.

I think this is incredibly drinkable. Probably a sipper for most though. This one could really get me in trouble. I love every facet of the flavor. This would make a great after dinner beer and would bode quite well in some dessert recipes or over ice cream. Yet another outstanding beer from Founders and it may be my overall favorite.

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Photo of jampics2
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle of 2009 vintage, split with friends courtesy of Cookie.

Pours a nice shade of brown with red highlights. What small head was forced with the vigerous pour quickly dissapears.

Smell is amazing. Wood supplies a ton of coconut and vanilla. Bourbon also, but it's far more subdued in the nose than in the taste.

Taste is straight-up bourbon at first, then a nice caramel malt base and the sublime wood flavors of coconut and vanilla come shining through. Wow, this is a booze bomb fresh, I much prefer it with a year or so on it to taste more subtle flavors. But still very good, just be prepared for the bourbon heat!

Mouthfeel and drinkability are both excellent for the style. I've been fortunate enough to try several bourbon barrel aged malt heavy beers in the past year, and this is towards if not at the top of the list. Great beer from Founders!

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Photo of shanecb
3.7/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Murky brown, rather dark at the center but lighter at the edges. Medium tan , frothy head when poured that leaves a layer on top for quite awhile. The color looks a little more on the red side if you can get some decent light through it. Very appealing appearance!

S - Wow, how fantastic! Up front is notes of caramel, malt, vanilla, and definitely bourbon. Smells a little bit like chocolate when it all melds together, or maybe a chewy toffee. Some earthy backbone to it also, with just a hint of alcohol detectable. It's such a delightful smell. The maltiness you would expecct from a Scotch ale blends so well with the plethora of aromas from the bourbon.

T - Quite a bit of what is in the aroma. At first it seems sort of sweet, with that vanilla and caramel I was hoping for. The maltiness accompanies these flavors. Next up the bourbon flavor really seems to kick in, and is pretty enjoyable. Some light alcohol flavor, with the smoothness of a quality bourbon. Aftertaste seems rather earthy to me, maybe a little woody. The bourbon seems to stand out quite a bit in some sips. It's a very good flavor, but I would almost prefer the bourbon toned down just a little bit. It's okay how it is, but I think a little muted, with smooth bourbon undertones would be nice as well. In fact, the more I drank, the more the bourbon taste seemed to be just too much. I would love to give taste a better rating, but the bourbon taste was a little much after awhile. The is almost the only part of this beer I think needs better balance.

M - Really not a ton to say about mouthfeel. It's pleasant; smooth and malty like I would expect from a Scotch ale, with not a whole lot of carbonation on the tongue.

D - One or two are very drinkable, but it reminds me a little too much of bourbon to drink a few. It's not a fault of the beer at all, it's just a personal preference. I would definitely want to break up drinking multiple bottles of this with something clean and crisp.

Overall, a really fantastic brew!

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Photo of NYCWheatFanSC
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - murky light cola brown color that fades around the edges when held to light. Small dark eggshell head that somewhat slowly fades to a collar around the glass, leaving significant lacing.

S - Dark fruits and earthen nuts, with a bit of a sweet kick given by hints of brown sugar and vanilla. Reminds me a bit of a "Papier lite".

T - Similar to the nose: brown sugar and vanilla dominate, with some datey, raisiny goodness in the back accompanied by wood. The alcohol and bourbon are extremely well hidden, had no idea this weighed in at 10% until I read the BA breakdown.

M - Perhaps a bit overcarbonated, creates a bit of a sting but not too distracting.

D - A great scotch ale, and one that I would happily return to again.

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Photo of mothman
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Town Hall Chalice.

Pours a small beige tan head. Fades to a thin layer. Color is a murky ruby hued bark brown.

Aroma: Oak and bourbon with vanilla right up front. Lots of malts, caramel, molasses and cherries. I really like this, but the bourbon is so dominate.

Taste: Right away, I get bourbon, oak, vanilla, and cherries. Then the caramel comes in and at the end I get some molasses and a touch of booze.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and a some heat from the bourbon. Medium bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends slight boozy, but fairly clean.

Overall, a solid beer, but the scotch notes were not as apparent as one would expect. I do like it, but I am very curious to what would happen with some age on it. I recommend this one.

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Photo of thirtysixbelow
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - dark reddish brown color with a thin dark tan head.

s - cherry vanilla with woody notes and a hint of whisky/alcohol.

t- whisky, woody, sweet heavy caramel malts up front. something in the middle that I can't put my finger on, kinda chocolate cherry maybe, but it's great. A slight bitter finish.

m - well carbonated for such a high alcohol content

d - just when you think you have tried everything! i've had some beers before that were aged in bourbon barrels but none have had whiskey notes like this one. i'm not a huge fan of really malty caramel beers like double bocks and wee heavies but this one gets balanced out nicely with the whiskey bite and slight hop bitterness. if you like whiskey you must try this.

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Photo of chazmatz
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got a bottle, poured it into the Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

A: IT poured a smooth, rich deep amber with a reddish center, with a thin beige head, of which the lace was very delicate.

S: I was hit by the aroma, which smelled of oak, vanilla, paint thinner and bourbon.

T: It seemed like I had taken a shot of whiskey and dropped it into an ale. Very strong evidence of bourbon and tannins.
Very strong vanilla and raisins, and a hint of fig.

M: Mouthfeel is mushy, and makes the tongue work a bit to get through it, like dream walking. Not too thick, just enough to let you know it's taking over your mouth for the next 19 minutes.

D: A very unique bourbon,er, beer. It goes down like a shot, but sips like a beer. Sipped it while making a good chicken dinner. Perfect for a snowy winter night.

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Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,710 ratings.