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Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard

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5,267 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,267
Reviews: 1,425
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 653
Gots: 1,542 | FT: 143
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: 5,267 | Reviews: 1,425 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of alk3kenny


5/5  rDev +15.5%

Been getting really into trying different Founder's beers after getting my hands on breakfast stout and CBS... Found this in a four pack at my local liquor store they had one 4pk left after I bought this one... I'll be going back for the other one hopefully it's still there. Pours a great color dark in the center but tan in the light around the edges smell of alcohol and bourbon. Tastes just as delicious the whisky is really present here which is a huge plus. Smooth easy to drink just overall delicious. If you've been pining for some of Founder's rarer brews and you come across this do yourself a favor get some. Do it... Do it... C'mon Do it...

UPDATE:!!! Pouring a 2011 and a 2012 next to each other and seeing the differences. Looking at appearance my 11 is slightly lighter then the 12 which is much darker this year. The smell on the 11 has definitely mellowed out over the year and the 12 has the same wonderful smell that I imagine. Let's taste... Wow the 11 has really mellowed out and became extremely smooth. You can taste the difference in the two from the get go. The year of age really benefits this beer though the 12 is still the amazing beer that I remember. It shows the alcohol much more and has slightly more of the bourbon burn. The 11 is now super smooth and easy going alcohol presence has lessened but I'm sure that the overall abv has hopefully increase with age. Mouthfeel on the 11 is amazingly creamy while 12 has the nice bourbon feel and fresh beer carbonation. Can't wait to put the 11 next to the 12 and 13 next year lol :)

10-18-2011 02:11:42 | More by alk3kenny
Photo of kennylopez

New Jersey

4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: a clear light brownish amber color with a fingers worth of tan white head that slowly faded to a light film. There are spots of lacing as I drink it.

Smells: a sweet caramel, and scotch aroma are the backbone in the nose followed by a medium roasted malt and light hop taste. Vanilla is there slightly behind the caramel and oak.

Tastes: a extremely mellow bourbon taste that has the characters like the nose insists with caramel and hints of vanilla. the roasted barley is quite mild but very flavorful. Sweetness finishes it off that resembles a toffee candy.

Mouthfeel: it is 10.2%, yet does not have a burn like it. the mild carbonation leaves a dry aftertaste that lingers with a oak flavored caramel film that leaves me wanting more.

Overall: I like my wee heavy/scotch ales, but this is comparable to a Ola Dubh 30 year reserve by Harviestoun which I enjoyed very much. I have to say I like this brew a little better. I wish it was not a year round release, but I will hunt for when it is in season I suggest give it a try. If you like scotch ales this one is superb.

10-18-2011 01:30:24 | More by kennylopez
Photo of CrookedStill


4.93/5  rDev +13.9%

Bottled 9/30/11 - Poured into tulip glass.

Pours a deep mahogany, a beautiful ruby when held to light, with a 1-2 finger tan head that slowly falls. Lots of lacing.

Right up front there's a lot vanilla, very oaky. Smells like a good bourbon with hints of warm caramel sweetness. One of the best smelling beers I've tried.

This is defiantly a bourbon drinkers beer. Just going to go ahead and say it here, if you don't like bourbon I seriously doubt you'll enjoy this. That being said, bourbon enthusiast, this is one for you. Right away there's that wonderful oaky vanilla sweetness that was so prominent in the nose. Behind that that there's a subtle smokiness (becoming more prominent as it warms) that really compliments the vanilla and oak. Hints of molasses and roasted malts. Alcohol is present (it is, after all, 10.2%) and lends a bit of warmth but it isn't overpowering or distracting. Finishes dry with a lingering sweetness.

Full bodied with very little carbonation. Really coats the palate.

This is the first offering I've tried from Founders and I'm an instant fan. Anyone that can make a beer like this knows what they're doing. Plain & Simple. With all that's great about this beer there are two things about it that make me sad; 1) It's only released once a year and 2) I don't have a fireplace to sit in front of (in a rocking chair of course) while sipping this wonderful drink. And at 10.2%, sipping may be the way to enjoy it.

10-17-2011 23:21:20 | More by CrookedStill
Photo of keanex

New Jersey

4.9/5  rDev +13.2%

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Deep red, almost opaque, with a thin light caramel colored head. Head retains through the beer as a small coating and nice lacing leaving traces down the side as I drink.

S: A beautiful intriguing mix of vanilla mixed with a fruity aroma, perhaps pear? Hints of caramel and toffee, very sweet smelling with a slight alcohol hint. I'm very much enjoying the scent of this.

T: As a bourbon drinker the first sip was incredibly familiar. A spicy/vanilla bourbon forefront with a thick creamy toffee finish with fruits thrown in the mix. This beer tastes a lot like a world class bourbon, leaving a similar burning down the throat, in a good way.

As I drink more I notice it's a bit sugary, but in a good way that balances out some of the burn.

M: Thick and creamy while rolling easy down with medium carbonation to ease it's thickness up.

O: This beer is absolutely blowing my mind now. It's very complex with a fruity vanilla bourbon character. As a bourbon drinker this is very familiar to me and this is the best scotch ale I've ever had making me warm and tingly with each sip.

10-17-2011 02:56:04 | More by keanex
Photo of Morningside

New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev +1.2%

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Dark ruby/brown with a very small amount of khaki-colored, grainy head that quickly dissipates. Not surprisingly, there's only a slight bit of spotty lacing left behind.

Nose- Single-malt Highland Scotch very prominently, followed closely by dark fruits, specifically raisins, toffee, rum, and popcorn. This one smells very hot.

Taste- Surprisingly mild when compared to the heat from the nose. Very "fruit forward," to borrow a term from the wine community, but the bourbon shines on the tail end. Dark fruits, caramel, and a hint of vanilla. Mild, but pleasing alcoholic burn on the way down.

Mouthfeel- The consensus here is that it is a little thin in this respect and I find no fault with that conclusion. Vague carbonation on the back of the tongue.

Overall- Wow. As a bourbon and scotch enthusiast, this was right up my alley. A sipper for sure, but dangerously sippable at that. Another great brew from Founders, one of the greatest breweries in the country.

10-17-2011 02:31:42 | More by Morningside
Photo of Demer

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Pours a reddish brown with a small head that goes away soon after pouring.

Immediately upon nosing this beer you get huge bourbon which dominates followed by caramel, dark fruits and caramelized malts.

This beer tastes like Bourbon, caramel, vanilla, brown sugar and definitely some oak in there.

This is a heavy bodied beer but its easy drinking. Its definitely a sipper but its dangerously drinkable. Its very smooth and creamy. Great beer glad I have a few more to see how they age.

10-16-2011 20:39:40 | More by Demer
Photo of isitsavage


3.85/5  rDev -11.1%

Poured into a snifter.

Brown/amber in the glass, little to no head, spotty lacing.

Smell is toffee, toffee, toffee! Very sweet in the nose, boozy too. Vanilla, caramel, popcorn.

Taste is surprisingly subdued compared to the smell, moderately hot booze, more toffee, malty sweetness, some rosted flavors, really getting popcorn out of this again. Slightly dry and bitter finish.

A little thin in the mouth, not sure if this is normal for the style but I wouldn't have minded a little more body. Pretty drinkable, alcohol is present but not overbearing, two of these would have me pretty well set though.

Overall I enjoyed it, just as I've enjoyed everything from Founder's. Really a wonderful brewery but I don't need to tell you that. Pick some up and try it!

10-16-2011 02:19:37 | More by isitsavage
Photo of stonermouse


4.65/5  rDev +7.4%

Kudos to my mom (seriously!) for scoring me two four-packs. Poured into a Sam Adams glass.

Pours rust-colored, with a head that does a quick disappearing act. The pour itself is interesting- this is so syrupy it's unreal.

Aroma is almost cookie-sweet. A little booze pokes through, but mostly sweetness, and maybe a little banana bread.

This beer is everything it purports to be. Bourbon is certainly the star; there's a lot of booze, but it's smooth as a Manhattan cocktail. In fact, there's even a little sweet vermouth and cherry to be found in the flavor with this brew. As it warms, there's a lot of sweet molasses cookie flavor, if the batter were spiked with bourbon (kind of like MY grandma used to make).

Mouthfeel is syrupy, like the pour suggested. It's an off-putting mouthfeel for most beers, but it suits this brew quite well.

Alright, so I'm a bit biased, as this is probably my second or third favorite brew ever. If you are a bourbon lover, this brew is for you. This will tickle your sweet tooth, as well as give you the good boozy kick you get from a cocktail. I hope we see more supply of this one in the future, as this beer kicks ass.

It should be noted that the price, $18 for a four-pack, was the going rate for this brew in most places locally. I had designs on buying a case if I could find one, but at that price, it's a tough sell. I adore this beer, but in the end, it's just beer.

10-16-2011 02:13:15 | More by stonermouse
Photo of tko741

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev -8.8%

Looks like liquid ruby in the glass, with a faintly straw-head that leaves decent lacing but eventually dies down to a thin wisp.

Upon sticking my honker in the glass, there's lots of buttery oak, dark sugars, and a definite suggestion of peat malt. Some caramel makes it way up, as well.

Initially very malty up front, followed by a butterscotch-y, vanilla-y blast that lingers on your tongue with a distinct thin body. There's a little bit of tame warmness from the alcohol, which doesn't let on to the 10.2% volume of this brew. Towards the end, there's a smattering of port wine and cognac notes that nicely wrap up the sip experience.

Insanely drinkable and very smooth. Mouthfeel, as mentioned, is a little thin, but the taste here will keep you distracted from that.

10-15-2011 21:42:39 | More by tko741
Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews


4.33/5  rDev 0%

A - A nice very dark red/brown with a decent white head.

S - You really smell the wood. It also has that nice, buttery spiciness of bourbon. There is also a certain amount of smokiness to the nose. This is a great smelling beer.

T - The flavor matches the smell profile, but as a bonus there is an alcohol finish. The malt flavor come through as toffee and it adds a little sweetness to the end of the sip.

M - This has a nice balance between a thick body and a fair amount of carbonation (especially considering the abv).

O - I really enjoyed this beer. The bourbon barrel comes through a lot, but it is not too overpowering so you can still taste the complexities of the grain bill.

10-15-2011 02:09:42 | More by 3HovsepiansBrews
Photo of NorthsideFred


4.55/5  rDev +5.1%

This beer was bottled 9/23/11. Poured into my favorite snifter.

A: Looks inviting. A dark chestnut-brown, with some red highlights on the edges. Light tan head dissipates quickly. Nice lacing. Last year my bottles had lots of floaties. I called the brewery and was told that isn't uncommon (I think I got the bottom of the barrel). This year was crystal clear just like 2009.

S: I love the smell!!!! Bourbon and vanilla dominate. Some nice hints of the wood come through as well.

T: Sweet bourbon and vanilla sing loud and clear. Caramel and dark fruits also chime in.

M: Thicker than I remember. I want to say full bodied but the words just don't come out. So I'll say medium-to-full bodied.

O: Much better than last year (but I may have had a bad batch). On par with 2009. One of my favorite beers.

10-15-2011 02:03:47 | More by NorthsideFred
Photo of JohnnyChicago


4.2/5  rDev -3%

Poured from a 12oz "choad" bottle into a snifter.

A: Pours a deep brown with an off-white latte head.

S: Smells of sweet bourbon and vanilla. There is some wood resin and roasted coffee bean as well.

T: Bourbon is present and aiming to please, however, the wee heavy flavours don't disappear in the complexity. Sweet caramel and toffee flavours accent the intensity of the bourbon.

D: Surprisingly smooth and quaffable. Its sweet and rich, but its actually very smooth and refreshing.

Overall: Another solid addition to Founders' bourbon line. Damn, those guys know how to work with barrels! This is a worthy altering of the already solid Dirty Bastard and I would love to have this whenever possible. Really solid brew, and its nice to see something other than a stout and barleywine as the vehicle of bourbon in beer.

10-15-2011 01:37:59 | More by JohnnyChicago
Photo of znichols


4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

A- Pours dark, dark ruby with a little creme colored head that immediately disappeared. Ok lacing. Looks exotic and rich.

S- Wood, dark bourbon, a touch of spice, alcohol, and a little bit of over-ripe fruit. There is a hint of roastiness in there too, but overall this smells like your grandpa's liquor cabinet. Not overpowering, per-se, but musty and deep.

T- A wallop of alcohol on the first sip. I get some sweet toffee, sugar roasted nuts, and blackstrap molasses as i swish it around on my tongue. The alcohol is somewhat overpowering the other flavors, but theres a lot going on once you get past the burn. Strong bourbon flavor and candy are abound. The bourbon really comes out as it warms. Outstanding flavor, if you like bourbon.

M- This was the star of the beer for me. Creamy, not overly sticky, low carbonation. Works perfectly with the style. Exquisite body.

O- You know, there is a lot of alcohol in this beer, and its prevalent. Its not necessarily a bad thing as it plays really well with the whole bourbon characteristic. The flavors are nice, soft oak, syrup, and earth. They come together to make a really really nice flavor as a whole, but i can't bring myself to give this beer a straight A/A+ just based on the alcohol content and the hype around it. Its a great sipping beer for a cool fall night, and those who like bourbon and/or scotch ales will find nirvana in this beer, but for me, its just very good.

10-14-2011 01:42:21 | More by znichols
Photo of jayhawk73


3.95/5  rDev -8.8%

On draft at Rustico:

Pours a dark brown color w/ a one finger cocoa head that quickly disappears. Good carbonation, and somewhat weak lacing on the glass. Smell is oak, vanilla, malt, alcohol. A little on the thin side for me- and warming doesn't help much. Not as complex as I would think for a beer w/ this pedigree. Taste is the same- good, but not great. Something's missing here. It just doesn't have the depth of flavor or complexity that I would expect from a Founder's brew. Still, it's good. Mouthfeel is a disappointment. Very thin and carbonated feel. Too thin to be honest. Overall, this is a decent brew, but fell short of what I had hoped for.

10-14-2011 00:48:18 | More by jayhawk73
Photo of iDrinknewglarus


4.22/5  rDev -2.5%

A: Pours a dark reddish brown with a small tan head that dissipates soon thereafter. Surprising amount of lacing for a beer of this ABV.

S: TONS of bourbon. Alcohol, vanilla, caramel. I get mainly bourbon and not a lot of "beer" aroma.

T: A whole lotta bourbon up front, through the middle, and at the back end. A ton of caramel throughout, almost candy-bar like caramel taste and sweetness. A lot of vanilla. I get a herbal taste in the middle, kind of like dank green tea. Surprisingly not as dry as I would have thought, only slightly drying. The alcohol that comes through is distinctly spirit-like, which adds an interesting dimension to the taste. As it warms I notice the alcohol less and less, and the sweetness of the wee heavy more and more. I think without the sharpness and cleansing of the alcohol, this beer would be way too sweet. It's kind of like the alcohol acts as the hop bitterness in this case, and helps to balance this malt bomb.

M: Medium, quite creamy, and probably the stickiest beer I've ever drank. It attaches to your lips and holds on for dear life. Not a whole lot of carbonation.

This is a beer that packs a hefty bourbon punch, but also blends almost seamlessly with the wee heavy base. This is a brew that would probably benefit from a few years of aging.

10-14-2011 00:35:17 | More by iDrinknewglarus
Photo of jbuddle

New York

4.45/5  rDev +2.8%

First time with this one, definitely not the last.
A - pours a dark ruby, brownish color with a decent light tan head that sticks around, pretty nice
S - the real winner here, full of deep rich malts, vanilla, bourbon, oak, and sweetness.
T - follows the aroma, very deep and complex. Let it warm up. Vanilla, followed by bourbon, good amount of alcohol, caramel and a bit of burnt sugar. Sweetness is up there.
M - nice, not too syrupy, but coating and and slick. Good carbonation
O - a real winner, definitely need to find as many as I can to hoard. Another awesome brew from Founders.

10-13-2011 01:39:07 | More by jbuddle
Photo of Aberration


4.33/5  rDev 0%

Enjoying this beer fresh, 2011 batch.

A: Dark amber pour with thick foamy head that dissipates slowly. Looks velvety thick and inviting. Nice red hue to the beer once poured.

S: Bourbon and vanilla and oak! Smells fantastic! Can detect slight caramel and alcohol in the background. Smells like a barrel aged barleywine!

T: Malty, bourbon bomb, slight vanilla in the back with an oak finish. Delicious. Tastes a little hot right now though, slightly decreasing its drinkability. This is the only factor lowering the score. (Yes, it's a 10% ABV I expected this, but it is still a factor nonetheless.)

M: Silky. Carbonation is just right on this one. The hotness of the alcohol does play a bit into the mouthfeel however. This batch will be a masterpiece once it cools down a bit I think.

O: Fantastic beer. I'm going to go purchase some more, can't believe this is the first time I've ever tried it! Definitely tasty right now but I'm very interested in what a little aging will do to this beer.

10-12-2011 22:15:53 | More by Aberration
Photo of aficionado

New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev -11.1%

Had this many times. This time, I served it in a Duvel Tulip.

Dark murky brown body with hints of red. Moderate lacing, no head.

Intense bourbon aromas with lots of vanilla bean, loads of dark fruits, dark caramel, and new oak barrels.

Complex taste with an upfront pruney sweetness, artificial dominating vanilla and nutty toasted coconut, hot bourbon, dark caramel, brown sugar, and a drying oak finish. The hot alcohol really punches through, but it's not as intense on the palate as it is on the nose. Still, it is more than noticeable and the finish warms your belly quite a bit.

Mouthfeel is fullish and somewhat creamy/syrupy yet not cloying in flavor. The sweet upfront taste followed by a dry finish turns me off slightly. The carbonation is very fine and lightens the body a bit. I like this beer, but one at a time is enough to satisfy. I would love to age a bottle for 3 years and revisit... if not, I'll pass on it fresh.

10-12-2011 22:13:15 | More by aficionado
Photo of bricksandivey


4.88/5  rDev +12.7%

This beer was so good it inspired me to attempt a proper review, here we go.

I enjoyed this one in a snifter as recommended.

Look: Dark red to brown color as poured from the bottle When held up to the light it is actually a dark ruby red. Virtually no head to speak of.

Smell: Ok, so definately vanilla, caramel, woody, maybe even a slight coconut or chocolate in there. Some warm alcohol here not overpowering though. Reminds me of KBS, just not as pronounced.

Taste: Caramel,vanilla, bourbon, woody (oak), then at the end the alcohol comes on, not overpowering though.

Mouthfeel: very slight viscous feel, nothing like the the imperial stout from Founders. This one barely coats the palate.

Overall impression: Lighter weight cousin to KBS. Excellent Beer. I'm gonna stop reviewing and enjoy the rest of it.

10-11-2011 02:38:57 | More by bricksandivey
Photo of monitorpop


4.05/5  rDev -6.5%

Freshly tapped minutes before I ordered.

A: Creamy caramel with a thick tan head.

S: Bourbon, vanilla and oak.

T: Sweet vanilla, a bit nutty, some wood and strong bourbon.

M: Smooth, a bit thick, low carbonation with a mild alcohol burn.

O: Strong and boozy, but enjoyable.

10-08-2011 13:01:27 | More by monitorpop
Photo of zaphodchak


4.65/5  rDev +7.4%

This half-finger of cream tan head. Bright pink-ruby body, elegant surface memory. Bits of lacing.

Nose is incredibly bourbony/vanilla. Plenty of oak as well. Decadent. Traces of molasses and leather as it warms.

This is honestly everything I could've asked for. Super rich, oaky, tons of alcohol, bourbon, and fresh coconut. Think Dragon's Milk, but not a stout. I'm keeping some in the cellar-- this is going to get ridiculous with age and I want to be there.

Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, decadent to match.

Knockout-- completely nails it.

10-08-2011 03:50:06 | More by zaphodchak
Photo of JayS2629


4.43/5  rDev +2.3%

Pours a dark amber with a thin tan head that fades slowly and leaves ok lacing.

The aroma isn't complex but it is bold. Loads of oak, bourbon and toffee. Buttery caramel, nutty notes and hints of vanilla. Oak dominates with boozy notes.

The flavors are rich and malty; Loads of buttery toffee, vanilla dn nutty hints. Barleywine-like. Big, sweet, but with a big touch of herbal hops that drives through.

Smooth, mellow, very interesting balance and complexity.

Very enoyable beer.

10-08-2011 01:39:26 | More by JayS2629
Photo of Kromes


4.38/5  rDev +1.2%

A: A clear dark amber/red color with a thin tan colored head.

S: A big vanilla and oak aroma.

T: Wow. A very nice toasted malt flavor mixed with a vanilla and butter. The oak and alcohol flavors are there, but they are very mellow.

M: Velvet smooth and mellow. Doesn't dry out, which I would have expected. Very good mouthfeel.

O: Quality stuff. very balanced. Some heavy oak aged beers are way too sweet. This beer is just about spot on.

10-07-2011 23:11:57 | More by Kromes
Photo of adman08


4.22/5  rDev -2.5%

A-Pours a deep garnet red with creamy off-white head that settles slowly and leaves a nice layer of foam.
S-Strong bourbon aroma with hints of caramel and vanilla. I also get a hint of smoke and chocolate, very complex and sweet aromas.
T-Strong bourbon flavor but not completely overpowering. The bourbon barrel aging not only leaves bourbon flavor but also smooth, oak and vanilla flavors. Slight smoke flavor and some caramel/malty and chcolate flavor as well.
M-Starts very sweet which is diminished by the high alcohol a bit and finishes slightly dry. Decent carbonation, fairly sticky.
Overall, a very good beer. It's nice to find a bourbon barrel aged beer that isn't all bourbon. This beer balances a very good base beer with the addition of the barrel aging. The scotch ale flavor is complex and the boubon barrel aging only adds to that complexity. This is a very smooth beer, highly recommended.

10-05-2011 02:25:45 | More by adman08
Photo of Chaney

District of Columbia

4.47/5  rDev +3.2%

A: Poured a chocolate amber color, with a 1/2 finger or so ghostly creme color that retained itself pretty well.

S: The nutty, bourbon influence was most evident, with a musty, malty undertow, with a nice dark fruit (prune and fig) presence.

T: I really loved how the bourbon killed some of the "dog food" quality that sometimes turns me off to Scotch Ales. What is left is a malty, caramel and toffee filled glass of malty, nutty, goodness.

M: Just the right amount of prickle, creamy, and not a trace of booze... unless you figure the bourbon influence into that equation (which I don't). The was an off-white streak here and there left on the glass.

O: I've never been a big fan of "Dirty Bastard." Witness the power of bourbon barrel-ageing!

10-05-2011 00:12:55 | More by Chaney
Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 5,267 ratings.