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Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,198 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,198
Reviews: 1,420
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 630
Gots: 1,525 | 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
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Ratings: 5,198 | Reviews: 1,420 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KidsDoc


4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into tulip

A: dark orange/brown with full tan head that sat tight and left pure residue down the glass

S: very sweet: toffee aroma, woody, a coconut smell I can't explain. Very subtle bouron aroma

T: Much stronger with the wood/oak flavor but even more pronounced in the taste is this "coconut" that I couldn't get past. It certainly wasn't bad, but nothing I expected from this - it truly was reminiscent of a pina colada with the mix of bourbon (in place of rum)/coconut. This all set on a huge sweet, malt backbone.

M: light to medium body with full but soft carbonation

O: alcohol incredibly well-hidden. Not at all the tast profile I anticipated but certainly enjoyable. For the price (at least in my area), this will not be a yearly must-have but I will no doubt enjoy this beer another time or two.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2011 00:58:20 | More by KidsDoc
Photo of mavbrew


4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a mahogany color with reddish tint when held up to light. The head is a finger thick and light tan in color, slowly dissipates and leaves little lacing.

S: The scent is pretty complex, the bourbon/scotch scent hits you right up front. Caramel malts are present as well and hints of vanilla and oak/wood characteristics.

T: The upfront taste is without question a massive bourbon flavor that punches the back your palette and sticks around for a while. Following is the oak taste and well as slight malty backgrounds and a bit of alcohol which is expected. The finish is dry and has bourbon flavor.

M: Medium bodied with low carbonation. The feel is woodsy and bourbon.

D: This is not a beer for the average beer drinker. This is a gnarly beer, very strong bourbon presence and the 10.2% does not go unnoticed, definitely a sipper. However, if you like bourbon and aggressive beers then give this one a try.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2011 00:45:41 | More by mavbrew
Photo of deebo


3.03/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Keg from 2009.

A-Tan head that sticks. Cloudy brown and dirty looking.

S-Oaky wood aroma is strong. Not much else comes through.

T-Smoked malts predominant, wood/oak, and a definite bourbon taste.

M-Alcohol vapors are very noticeable. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

D-Too much bourbon flavor to make this one more than a sipper for me. Bourbon whiskey lovers will like this one.

Serving type: on-tap

04-22-2011 23:51:26 | More by deebo
Photo of PEBKAC

New York

3.08/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of the ugly duckling a year or so back. Been settling in my fridge for most of that time. Still managed to deposit all sorts of nasty in my glass though.

Spritzy pour, though not much residual head after the first few seconds. Beer is brown with a cherry tone to it. Slightly hazy, even after everything dropped out of suspension.

Nose is very penetrating. Rich malt, more scotch then bourbon. Anise, rawhide, & a sharp, slightly charred base ale.

Leather & a twiggy bitterness are the most upfront flavors. Licorice, oak, ink, scotch.

Feel is heavy, with decent carbonation, but oh so boozy.

Beer is too overloaded to be enjoyed as more then a novelty.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2011 08:41:15 | More by PEBKAC
Photo of colts9016


3.73/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this from E, Thank you for the beer. Poured into my Delirium Tremens glass at 47 degrees.

Appearance: A hard pour produced into a thin white that is foamy and bubbly. The head did not produce any lacing on the glass. The color of the beer is a dark ruddy brown color with dark brown hues. The clarity of the beer is opaque and there is some carbonation upon the side of glass.

Nose: A very strong oak bourbon aroma that segways into a peaty heavy sea, and earth. The malt is roasty, toasty with caramel notes and a bit of bready notes. The other aromas are pepper, phenols, alcohol, vanilla, a touch of brett, subtle sweetness, and floral.

Taste: Holy moly a very strong oaky bourbon, peaty, earthy, sea water, and floral. The malt is strong it is roasted, toasted, caramel, and yeast. Other flavors are alcohol, brett, floral, pepper, honey like sweetness, vanilla, and phenols.

The mouth feel is warm, carbonated, chewy, and coating.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium thick and the finish is full. This beer is almost too much. There is no balance in the beer, it has too much booze in the beer. The beer needs to age for a couple of years to mellow it out. The beer is just too strong to drink, it is a sipper.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2011 07:12:12 | More by colts9016
Photo of crashdavisinoh


4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-pours black and has a thick appearance w/ little to no head.

S-Sweet bourbon...vanilla...oak

T-Picked up the alcohol immediately...very creamy taste. The taste of the alcohol progesses nicely...not overpowering but definitely the star. Sweet taste.

M-Little to no carbonation...very pleasant mouth feel...even holding in the mouth...the alcohol was not overpowering and I detected the other flavors...the oak...caramel.

D-I enjoy this beer each time I have it...this years vintage is no exception. I can put down mulitples on this.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2011 19:27:15 | More by crashdavisinoh
Photo of ploobs


4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a light brown/rusty opaque color with minimal head.

S: Sweet. Scent of bourbon and scotch.It was good, but I was hoping for more.

T: My favorite part, has a wonderful sweetness with tastes of bourbon and scotch with a slight tang at the start.

M: Smooth, with a great aftertaste.

Loved this beer, will definitely look to buy again. Is very much a sipper and I look forward to finishing this glass.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2011 02:04:08 | More by ploobs
Photo of gfreed


5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Rarely am I given the chance to rate a beer so highly. This is so far beyond any other American Scotch ale, it is the standard for American beers in this style. Bourbon to the fore! Add to that the gentle aroma of citrus with a heavy malty tang; a dense taste of orange peels, lemons, rope, cocoa, butter, oak, new leather shoes... is there anything *not* to envy in this beer? This can go head to head with any UK Scotch ale. Best enjoyed in a snifter or a thistle while playing the piano, or on one's front porch on an almost-spring New England afternoon. An incredible beer by any standard.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2011 01:04:29 | More by gfreed
Photo of pmlondrigan

New York

4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm surly bumbed this is gone. Rudy reddish brown and opaque in the glass. Light tanish head which leaves sheets of lacing down the glass. Aroma is slightly one dimisional and whiskey based. Not much wood or oak, just high spirit aroma, vanilla, caramel and brown sugar. My taste buds tingle with tasty brown sugar, sweet vanilla, creme brulee, cheap whiskey, and faint oak notes. This beer reminds me of liquid bread pudding. Somehow it isn't cloying, but there is a lingering flavor. silky. I'd say damn, wish I had more of this. Founders truly knows what they are doing with bal aged beers.

Serving type: growler

04-04-2011 02:19:47 | More by pmlondrigan
Photo of KevSal


4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

ive really wanted to try wee heavy's lately but the ones if tried didnt do it for me, and later i find out they are low Bs and Cs on BA.
i want to try something thats ranked very well on here to see if i truly like the style, granted this is barrel aged, but the other wee heavys ive tried were barreled as well.

excited and intrigued to open this one up, thanka again birchstick for this awesome extra. props on hitting my more overlooked and less wellknown wants.

2010 12oz into an sn tulip

a- wow i have no idea what to expect and this one is already looking real good! amazing clear dark maroon hue, half inch foamy head

s- not sure what to expect here ( and with my past bad experiences in mind), mmmm smells really good. you can smell the bourbon and the barrel. i picked up some subtle cherry notes, good stuff. barrel sweetness when it warms

t- the real test, YES is taste good. you can taste a flavor reminiscent to a strong scotch, but with the bourbon sweetness, works really well together. sweet flavor in the finish, i get very subtle cherry here as well. i find this one refreshing. there is a bit of bite there that fits in perfectly with each sip.

m- on target with a a heavier 10% brew. feels thick and heavy in the mouth, but not too creamy. remenscent to a big barelwine in texture (think old gaurdian)

o- awesome experience. really didnt know what to expect but what i found i liked. i had a feelin i was going to like this guy by all the info i read about it, and im very glad i got the chance to. i can sip this guy all night

oh man i wish i had more! i bet these guys age really well too. im surpirsed theres not more talk about this guy, another world class beer on the founders lineup.

looking forward to trying it again someday.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2011 07:32:26 | More by KevSal
Photo of chilly460


4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - This beer pours a medium ruby brown color. It has a two finger light tan head on it, good lacing all the way down the glass

S - Whoa, big whiskey smell hits immediately. Follows with some brown sugar, vanilla, caramel, and more booze. Whiskey (oddly not much bourbon smell here, more raw alcohol type smell) overpowers everything else. Dirty Bastard is fairly hoppy for the style, but I don't pick up any hops in this beer.

T - Yahtzeee!!! The first sip hit like a ton of bricks, eyes watered as if I just had a shot of straight bourbon. Other patrons sitting around said the same thing, this keg must have been pulled from a very strong barrel that still had some bourbon in it. The taste is of bourbon with definite vanilla and oak notes. There are good notes of caramel, and canned fruit in a sweet syrup, some toffee too. Eventually, by about the fourth good sip, the bourbon hit calms down and you get a nice smoothing effect, plenty of complexity...the bourbon and sweetness of the beer come together well.

M - Thick mouthfeel with lower carbonation. This beer is smooth as all hell and chewy. I don't know how Founders gets the mouthfeel so perfect in everything from an IPA to a Scotch Ale, but they do. Once the booze numbs you, it goes down the hatch really well.

O - Definitely a sipper, but this is one that just comes together right. It would be better with less booziness on the initial hit, but that seemed to go away as it warmed and I got further into the glass.

Serving type: on-tap

04-01-2011 10:38:07 | More by chilly460
Photo of NODAK


3.05/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

AromaIs extremely sweet. There's an immediate caramel presence there, and a definite dark fruit not as well, most notably cherries. This could pass for candy.

Pours blood red in the glass with a small head.

Taste is extremely malty as would be expected. Very rich caramel and dark fruit is present in abundance along with some serious sugar. This isn't for diabetics. The problem I have is how boozy this is right from the start. It hits right away, like a shot of bourbon is in this beer. And on the finish, it only gathers steam. The ABV is high, but drinks even higher.

So the verdict is that this isn't a favorite beer from Founders for me. Not a big deal, they make plenty other good ones.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2011 00:30:41 | More by NODAK
Photo of Bendurgin


4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this bottle courtesy of my brother. Very kind of him to share his four pack. Poured into a tulip. This one pours a someone light muddy chestnut brown with a thin layer of creamy off white head.

This actually remind me of apple cider. It's a fruity aroma with a noticable alcohol aroma with a bit of toffee to round it out. Nice aroma of bready malts supports this one nicely. Woody toffee is a big player on this with just a hint of dark fruit and vanilla. Traces of alcohol are present but this is still impressive for a beer this size.

Creamy and full. Nice and smooth with soft carbonation. A great beer here. Founders really hit the mark on this one. Really one of the finer examples of this style.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2011 15:08:31 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of tsatem


3.58/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a snifter, courtesy of calbertb2. Bottled 10/08/10 at 12:54.

A: First off, I absolutely love this label, one of my favorites. Pours a deep mahogany color with a small head that fades quickly. Appears slightly orange while coming out of the bottle. There seems to be a small bit of lacing right off the bat, but not too much of it sticks around.

S: Smells rather too sweet. Bourbon is taking a backseat. Raisins and figs, caramel toffee and vanilla, sweet spices.

T: Lots more bourbon than I was expecting from the nose. All of the sweet tastes from the nose with more caramel in the foreground. A little bit of earthy oak influence, and bourbon plus alcohol heat in the back. I taste a definite bourbon booziness, as if there was bourbon added to the beer rather than the beer being aged in barrels.

M: Somewhat thin, typical of the style but not what I'm used to from bourbon barrel aged beers or beers with such a high ABV. Very nice, mild amount of carbonation.

D (seems to be O now): The bourbon booziness and sweetness is detracting from the drinkability for me. Scotch ales are not my favorite style to start with and I love bourbon barrel aged beers, so I might just be having a hard time not separating these tastes. This is an absolute sipper that I really needed to take my time with.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2011 02:43:18 | More by tsatem
Photo of rowingbrewer


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

This beer pours a dark caramel to light brown color with a decent off white head. the smell is bourbon up front with toffee and vanilla notes swirling around in there too. the flavor is pretty similar to the smell with the bourbon being apparent immediately and then the sweet caramelized malts, followed by some hints of oak and vanilla. The mouthfeel is full and sweet and overall this is a very good beer, definitely one of my favorite scotch ales.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2011 13:02:28 | More by rowingbrewer
Photo of andrecrompton

New Jersey

5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I would surely consider myself a beer nut and this is the "Holy Grail" of beers that I have had. Great from first taste to finish. The body of this beer is heavy with a sweet after taste. Vanilla and Caramel taste all throughout. Perfect head from a tap pour. I have had other scotch or whiskey ales and they don't come close to the taste of this beer. I am really surprised to see very little reviews on beer.

This is a definate sipper and not a liter mug guzzler.

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2011 05:16:54 | More by andrecrompton
Photo of mltobin


4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single 12 ounce bottle in Western Mass.

Appearance is nearly black with close to one finger of head.
Its` smell is quite nice, with some vanilla, bourbon, and dark roasted malts. Taking a sip of BB, I get some oak, scotch, a little chocolate. MF is medium-heavy, a bit rich. All in all, this is a very nice scotch ale. I continue to be happy from my Founders purchases when I am traveling to/through nearby states (live in CT).

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2011 00:25:00 | More by mltobin
Photo of rootbeerman


3.98/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from notes 1-16-11

A: pours brown with a short lived half finger of light brown head that left a thin halo on the surface.
S: malty and sweet, some vanilla and oak, as well as a touch of caramel
T: sweet and malty again. vanilla and oak, a little bit of earthy hop on the back-end.
M: visible pour looked thick, on the palate it starts thick but smooths out and goes lighter in feel, almost crisp.
O/D: good flavor and is overall not your typical scottish ale but thats not a bad thing.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2011 06:59:45 | More by rootbeerman
Photo of kranker23

New Jersey

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

A - Dark amber with a slight red hue. Almost root beer color.

S - Great nose, vanilla, caramel. Poured slightly cold from the cellar. This should open up wonderfully as it warms.

T - The booze comes through strong but pleasant. it might be the hops that throw this a little bit off balance. There are hints of whiskey and vanilla.

M - Medium mouthfeel, nice and not at all sticky.

D - Very complex, a definite sipper.

O - Glad I got this one, this was appropriate as a long slow sipper. The hoppiness surprised me, but this was a well made beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2011 23:39:35 | More by kranker23
Photo of THECPJ


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

reviewed from notes:

appearance: redish brown with 1 finger head

smell: vanilla, caramel, bourbon

taste: vanilla, caramel, malts, bourbon

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium to full body,

drinkability: this is a sipper beer. But damn do I love it. I'm a hophead at heart but damn this is tasty. Will except this beer with open arms anytime I can get it.

the CPJ

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2011 02:41:25 | More by THECPJ
Photo of Shrews629


4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a brownish, dark maroon color. An off white, very light tan head that was relatively small and didn't have much retention. Might be because of the high ABV of this beer. Left some traces of lacing. The beer is predominately cloudy with some burnt orange highlights at the bottom.

Smell - The aroma clearly had the characteristics of bourbon whiskey. A nice "woody" note also. Maybe even a small touch of chocolate. This brew had a very pleasant burnt sugar, toffee, caramel malt smell. It was a little like those candy brown sugar "haystacks." Sorghum even. Very complex and balanced.

Taste - The flavor revealed the bourbon whiskey once again, but it also had a brown sugar taste that gave it some sweetness. I swear it seems like I'm getting a slight touch of an orange slice taste. Small smattering of bitterness. Again, well balanced and complex.

Mouthfeel - Medium/full mouthfeel with a significant alcohol burn and warmth. Leaves a tremendous amount on the palate. Well after the sip the flavor remains. It's smoother than one might think and it is nicely dry all the way through.

Drinkability - This beer is very, very nice. Lots of kick and a wonderful aroma, taste and mouthfeel. Most definitely a beer for sipping. The alcohol is prevelant, but it is surprisingly not distracting. It's noticeable in the mouthfeel, but it's not unbearable. After one of these I would more than likely be done. Not from lack of enjoyment, but lack of alcohol tolerance.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2011 21:22:17 | More by Shrews629
Photo of Blanco


3.93/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

reviewed from notes.

very dark amber color with white head. smell is off sweet cherries and strong bourbon. taste is similar although bourbon is more forward and dark fruit taste is more nondescript than the specific cherry flavor in the smell. also strong malt flavor. medium bodied. I enjoyed this one more than it's brother beer, Dirty Bastard. The bourbon adds a nice complexity I enjoy far more than the straight malt in Dirty Bastard.

Serving type: on-tap

03-09-2011 04:08:13 | More by Blanco
Photo of Brianjames16

New York

4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Beautiful deep brown. Looks like a dark dark leather. Nice foggy hue on top with a small off white head.

S- Rich, nutty, toasted chocolate aroma with hints of vanilla.

T- Taste follows the aroma with huge chocolate flavors mixed with vanilla and alcohol.

M- Big body with a silky smooth mouthfeel. Very nice!

D- This is a sipping beer and meant to be slowly appreciated. Great brew overall !

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2011 07:23:08 | More by Brianjames16
Photo of dfillius


4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Off white head with decent retention. Crystal clear crimson liquid with amber highlights.
S: Slight bourbon increases as it warms
T: Bourbon. A mellow scotch. It stops short of being boozy thankfully. Some chocolate and vanilla. Tasty! Best as it's warmer.
M: Some heat. Round. Smooth
D: Mmmm! Strong, but I want another and would buy a 22 oz. or a 6-pack maybe (if it came as such, a 4-pack if in that).

Serving type: on-tap

03-07-2011 00:39:39 | More by dfillius
Photo of metter98

New York

4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a ring of beige bubbles around the edge of the glass with some lacing in the center.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of grapes and raisins in the nose.
T: The initial taste has lots of malty sweetness with flavors of raisins. There are some hints of alcohol in the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer isn't that difficult to drink although I can't see myself having more than one of these in a sitting.

Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2011 14:54:14 | More by metter98
Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 5,198 ratings.