1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,300 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,300
Reviews: 1,426
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 661
Gots: 1,548 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders Backwoods Bastard Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,300 | Reviews: 1,426 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of MikeyRx


4.53/5  rDev +4.6%

The last of my 2010 Founder's collection.

A- Pours a rich, deep red-brown, like mahogany, very cloudy and zero head (likely due to the age and alcohol content).

S- Malt, oak, bourbon, dark fruits and caramel... this is one of my absolute favorite beer aromas!

T- Sweet flavors of raisins or dried plums with hints of vanilla are followed by strong but not overpowering oak and bourbon flavors. The characteristic wee heavy flavor is there and the beer finishes a little boozey.

M- Feels heavy in the mouth to start with minimal carbonation, but a sharp bitterness, due to the alcohol content, takes over leaving you with a medium mouthfeel.

Founder's take on the Wee Heavy is one of my favorites. It maintains the Scottish character but the added complexity of the oak bourbon barrel aging really sets this beer apart.

08-26-2011 04:59:12 | More by MikeyRx
Photo of Dan3279


4.22/5  rDev -2.5%

The aroma was great with bourbon, vanilla, caramel and oak notes. The taste was outstanding, bourbon dominated the flavor but it wasn't over powering. All of the other flavors are blended together so well in a smooth and balanced manner. Caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, oak and dried fruits are all present and work well together.

The carbonation was mild but the beer itself was medium bodied, but comes off a hair on the light side.

Overall another solid offering from Founders. In the future I would love to see this in a 750ml bottle.

08-26-2011 00:55:46 | More by Dan3279
Photo of Chriscrundwell12


4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Darkness snifter.

A- Pours a ½ finger head dissipates quickly, carbonation streaming off the bottom of the glass, dark muddy brown color, really cloudy, splotchy lacing, nice bubbly lacing around the glass.
S- Big bourbon aroma, dark fruits, vanilla, alcohol is present, malt, some spice.
T- Bourbon is definitely present, bitter sweet, vanilla, oak presence, caramel, brown sugar, some spice, sweet malt.
M- Big mouth feel, crisp finish, nice burn from the alcohol, well carbonated.
O- This is a big beer, really enjoyed the big bourbon flavors, not over powering but really balanced, really impressed.

07-28-2011 04:41:38 | More by Chriscrundwell12
Photo of Knapp85


4.22/5  rDev -2.5%

Thanks TATURBO for the bottle of this, much appreciated!
This bottle poured out as a light muddy brown color with a soft creamy looking head on top. The lacing is thin but sticks nicely. The smell of booze, maple, some fennel, malts and wood all flood out of this beer. The taste is sweet with some light vanilla flavors, sweet malts, a light amount of bourbon and some earth in there too. The mouthfeel has some soft bubbles and a smooth creamy feel in the mouth. Overall I am very glad I finally got to try this one. I had wanted to give it a shot for a while and I did my best to enjoy each sip of this. This beer is great but isn't my favorite from Founder's.

07-20-2011 00:05:23 | More by Knapp85
Photo of warbird07


4.53/5  rDev +4.6%

my very last 2010...poured into my over-sized snifter..pours a translucent mohagony body with almost no head,minimal lacing denotes the booze presence...and wow...are you greated in the nose with bourbon..but it is every pleasent aroma that bourbon has to offer,mixed with a nice malty backbone..honestly a truely exceptional nose..the taste is great..just what you would expect out of a good wee heavy, but with a nice bourbon presence...a bit boozy on the back end though..and the aint so bad...a nice mouthfeel to a wonderful beer...

07-19-2011 02:17:51 | More by warbird07
Photo of Marty30


4.43/5  rDev +2.3%

Thanks to imperialking for this. Poured into a Jackie O's snifter At 50 degrees.

A. Body is A dark muddy brown with a ruby tint.Almost no head as expected,It just gives off some large bubbles.Very little lacing.

S. Big caramel malts hit you in the face,nice bourbon notes shine through,not overpowering by any means.A bit of oak,and dark cherries.

T. Sweet tasting beer,not bad tho fits the style.Bourbon and caramel,a bit of vanilla and oak from the barrels.

M. Feel is awesome,heavy and creamy, coats the palate very well. Not much carbonation but I wouldn't expect there to be.

Overall this is another badass beer from Founders,easily my Favorite brewery. I definately recommend this beer,a must try!

07-17-2011 17:21:58 | More by Marty30
Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 5,300 ratings.