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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.

5,306 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,306
Reviews: 1,426
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 662
Gots: 1,550 | 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: 5,306 | Reviews: 1,426 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of jamescain


4.43/5  rDev +2.3%

Poured into a sniffer, thanks to pwsolider for sharing this one

Appearance: Pours a hazy brown-mahogany with very little head.

Aroma: Caramel, sweet and malty, a hint of tobacco and leather, with aromas of oak, vanilla, bourbon, and alcohol.

Taste: Caramel, malty, candied fruit, vanilla, oak, bourbon, and alcohol on the finish, still kind of hot.

Mouthfeel: Sticky and slightly viscous, with medium carbonation and an alcoholic warming finish.

Overall: Great beer, glad I finally got to try it and would love to have a couple to keep around for a while.

10-04-2011 18:46:13 | More by jamescain
Photo of brianlindman


4.63/5  rDev +6.9%

On tap at Founders...

A - great appearance pours dark with a nice head.

S - Sweet malty smell.

T - sweet bourbon aroma and taste.

M - Smooth in the mouth slight alcohol aftertaste, SWEET, VERY SWEET.

Overall loved the beer taste great even after CBS. Very smooth for 10% ABV.

I will look fo it in the bottle this year!!

10-02-2011 16:53:57 | More by brianlindman
Photo of brew3crew


4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

In line at founders for CBS. Gruelurks thanks for the taste! 2007 vintage

A-brown body maroon aoubd the edge. Possible oxidation

S-still has a nice Bourbon with a malt backbone

T-wow. Very suprised. Nice Bourbon sweetness. Little bit of oxidation but still very good. Would be 4.5

M-medium body andvsmooty

O-very very good beer

10-01-2011 09:29:30 | More by brew3crew
Photo of mattboyer182


4.93/5  rDev +13.9%

A - Pours a deep mahogany/brown. Thin to no head. Yeast up a storm in this bad boy.

S - smells of pure sweet malt, dark fruits and a strong alcohol scent.

T - tastes is very sweet. Lots of wood in this. Intense alcohol bringing up the rear.

M - heavy body and light carbonation.

O - such a great style. So old and perfect for a chilly night.

09-28-2011 19:58:38 | More by mattboyer182
Photo of eclipse54


4.3/5  rDev -0.7%

I've had this several times in the past, thanks to a couple generous traders (FluffyMcTingle and inlimbo77). A 12 ounce bottle poured into a DFH signature glass.

Pours a dark brown, oaken color that is very nearly opaque. A small, thin layer of tan head develops, bud dissipates quickly. Small patches of wet lacing are left as the beer diminishes. Smells of bourbon, caramel, some toffee, a touch of vanilla, oak, and some dark, sugary fruit (cherries, date). Tastes of caramel, toffee, vanilla, oak, bourbon, and the same dark fruits. Very well balanced and palatable. The alcohol is almost completely hidden, only noticeably by a warming exhale. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, and it finishes a touch dry. Overall, a spectacular brew that I could easily sip on all evening. It pains me that I don't have regular access to this.

09-25-2011 23:10:20 | More by eclipse54
Photo of perrymarcus


4.38/5  rDev +1.2%

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours a deep coppery tone / borderline mahogany while yielding a thin, short lived head; no real lacing to speak of. really an average looking brew, and that might even be generous.

the nose, however, is fantastic. bourbon is the runaway headliner of this show, followed by notes of caramel, brown sugar, some dark fruit-like characters and and a noticeable though not overbearing presence of alcohol. really nice.

wow, huge bourbon presence translates to the flavor. much boozier than the aroma indicated; it's almost as if the bourbon was added directly to the beer. the caramel, brown sugar and dark fruits are all evident, along with a touch of vanilla. gets better as it warm, the one big drawback here is the booze. medium-full on the palate with adequate carbonation.

overall it's a definite winner. flawed, yes, but very tasty nonetheless. i enjoy a good bourbon bomb, so admittedly i may be a bit biased here.

edit: upping my score on taste after sampling the current (2011) batch. the bourbon seems more well blended for a smoother and tastier overall flavor. fantastic beer.

09-18-2011 03:09:56 | More by perrymarcus
Photo of jsanford


4.2/5  rDev -3%

12oz bottle poured into a Founders Tulip. 2010 Vintage.

A - Pours a beautiful dark mahogany with a slight ivory head that quickly fades to a slight ring and wispy haze.
S - A huge nose featuring big aromas of sweet caramel, cocoa, rum-raisins, and bread pudding, all wrapped up in intense notes of caramel, oak, and vanilla from the Bourbon barrel. Outstanding!
T - Tastes features more sweet caramel/toffee, candied nuts, dark fruits, and vanilla, caramel, and oak from the Bourbon. The Bourbon is nicely integrated into the beer, such a perfect melding with the style.
M - Mouthfeel is slightly sticky, but still smooth, with a medium-full body and moderate carbonation. Carbonation fresh out of the bottle is a bit high, but as this sits and warms it works out nicely.
O - Excellent offering from Founders, and a great take on an already awesome beer (Dirty Bastard)!

09-07-2011 03:05:31 | More by jsanford
Photo of afdempse


4.05/5  rDev -6.5%

12 oz. bottle

Dark ruby color, with a creamy head that leaves spotted lacing in the glass.

Aroma of bourbon, caramelized malt, brown sugar and vanilla

Flavor is boozy, with bourbon-soaked malt, earthy, slightly tannic and sour oak barrel notes. Alcohol warms the finish and mixes with a touch of vanilla.

Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Alcohol is well balanced & smooth for the strength.

Another excellent bourbon beer from Founders!

09-06-2011 03:10:24 | More by afdempse
Photo of BedetheVenerable


3.88/5  rDev -10.4%

Presentation: 12oz brown pop top, imaginative label, bottled 10-08-10. Poured into a New Belgium globe

Appearance: Pours a sienna hue, with tons of tiny sediment in suspension, topped with a nice sandy tan cap which shows pretty nice retention.

Smell: Here we get back on track. It's like liquid, slightly boozy, sticky toffee pudding, full of tons of dark, burnt caramel and toffee and dark, date-like fruitiness. As this approaches cellar and then room temperature, I'm also getting mild hints of bourbon-soaked cherries. At room temp, nice tobacco and vanilla extract notes emerge as well.

Taste: Definitely more booze in the flavor than in the aromas. This is fairly sweet (which I like), with a booziness that is half-way between warming/enjoyable and intrusive. The alcoholic esters come across in a dark fruity sort of way. It's sweet, with some toffee and dark caramel notes, but not much malt depth, which is really a bit disappointing.

Mouthfeel: Slick, pleasantly boozy, medium side of full-bodied.

Overall: This is a tasty beer, no doubt. With almost a year on it, it's a pleasantly (for the most part) boozy cold-weather-appropriate sipper that's stays relatively close to the British style of Wee Heavy. Yet, for about $12 a 4-pk, it doesn't have quite the depth or complexity I'd need for it to become a regular seasonal purchase.

09-05-2011 03:11:49 | More by BedetheVenerable
Photo of Dubber55

New York

3.93/5  rDev -9.2%

2010 vintage- served at a little above cellar temp.

Pours a deep, dark brown. Viscous stuff. 1 finger of mocha/tan colored head. Looks nice.

Solventy, fusel alcohol in the nose. You can definitely smell the bourbon and the oak along with caramel and savory spice.

Initial taste is a strong punch of bourbon followed by spices. Kind of like a christmas fruitcake- nutmeg, allspice, and clove. Reminiscent of a BSDA. There is also an earthy tobacco like flavor. In the finish I taste oak, brown sugar, and more bourbon. Pretty boozy and not overly sweet.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy- viscous stuff- creamy and silky. Carbonation is medium. Kind of tingly. Maybe distracts from the flavor a little bit.

When I drank this beer fresh, you could definitly taste the base beer. Now, not so much. I am surprised the bourbon is still so strong considering I have been aging this for almost a year. It is a good beer its just that I was hoping it would be more complex. If you have a 2010, I would suggest aging it longer.

Bottled 9/23/2011

Smells like smoke, tea, a little caramel, light oak , and savory spice. Taste is the same with some earthy hops added. Not very boozy and I can still taste base beer. The 2010 vintage I aged for a year was boozier than this fresh one. Would probably give this a B/B+

09-05-2011 01:05:34 | More by Dubber55
Photo of wnh


4.43/5  rDev +2.3%

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a rich mahogany, deep and dark, somewhat turbid, topped by a small and fleeting cream-colored head.

Nose is packed with oak and vanilla, earthy cocoa, a bit 'green,' with a cherry-like fruitiness. Dense.

Quite a different beast on the palate. I'm hit with a wave of maple syrup and honey, sweet and earthy and clean. Finishes with a rich candied nut character, dried orange peel, a bit of char. Wow. Rich and sweet but subdued. Quite mellow.

Medium to full bodied, firm, and a bit drying.

08-26-2011 22:03:31 | More by wnh
Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 5,306 ratings.