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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.

6,432 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,432
Reviews: 1,526
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 10.37%
Wants: 767
Gots: 2,103 | FT: 191
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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders Backwoods Bastard Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,432 | Reviews: 1,526 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BMart
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of pepperfee
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of CSQ1111
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of schwee
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of howard12
4.95/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

10.3.11 bottle poured into founders snifter

A -- dark reddish amber, floating bourbon particles, appears smooth yet syrupy at the same time.

S -- sweet & toasty bourbon vanilla caramel malt

T -- bourbon booze, but not too overpowering; vanilla certainly present along with malts, hint of wood seeping through

M -- surprisingly smooth, no bite until aftertaste as well as carbonation...that is when it tends to seem a bit spicy. mouthfeel is slightly boozy in a polished sort of way.

O -- love every second of this. i stumbled upon a case late last year and have 5 bottles left; will enjoy every last one of them. i thoroughly enjoy this beer, and appreciate more my chance to PLAN for having one at the end of a night, when deemed appropriate.

Photo of reyolb
3/5  rDev -30.9%

Photo of doughanson78
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of stevec32
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of mater
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of sennin
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of ImperialSloth
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of angrybabboon
3.31/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Cheers to Bilco for sharing this beer

Review adapted from notes taken 3/31/12

Appearance: Dark amber with a ton of red, surprisingly clear, small, off-white head - minimal lacing

Smell: Bourbon, bourbon everywhere - caramel malts, caramelized malts, slightly toasted malts, overpowered by booze and wood

Taste: Did I say bourbon? Bourbon! - caramel malts, molasses, with alcohol, booze - so much wood - kind of musty, the prominent bourbon flavor is not good - it's like the base beer isn't heavy enough to handle the barrel aging, really lacks balance

Mouthfeel: Medium body, dry, sticky booze

Overall: Not great, honestly

I would like to think that I have an appreciation for barrel aging, but this beer seems to emphasize all of the things I do not like about barrel aging. The malt profile needs to be more robust to balance the wood, bourbon, and alcohol. And the bourbon flavor is not good... I'm glad I had the opportunity to try this, but I must admit I was disappointed.

Update: 12/7/13

Drinking a fresh bottle. This is better than I remember, but it does have the flaws that I identified about a year and a half ago. The smell is absolutely dominated by booze, but there are some nice, chewy malts (upping the smell from 3.00 to 3.50). The taste is extremely boozy, but the bourbon is better than I remembered, as are the malts (upping the taste from 2.50 to 3.25). The mouthfeel is on the thin side for the flavors (upping the mouthfeel from 3.00 to 3.25). Overall, it's still not stellar.

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4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

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4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of yodedawg
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of gustogasmic
4.18/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle

A- The deepest ruby mahogany I've seen in a beer, rises to a thin khaki ring of tiny bubbles.

The carbonation is little, and slow, but is a consistent cloud of microscopic bubbles.

The lacing is beautiful, swirling in the snifter to watch the tiny bubbles play up and pop, opening up the aromas, as the long and slow legs suggest a potent, rich drink.

S- Bourbon-vanilla, dark caramel, rum-raisin, overripe cherry/ black cherry, all very melded. One aroma, many aspects. Suggests a lot of sweetness- big caramel and toffee.

T- Everything from the aroma is detectable. The rum-raisin, dark dry fruit notes come across as an upfront and complex spice bill that is carried along and complemented by the bourbon and palatable alcohol presence. The bourbon is very noticeable to me, and makes this one quite a sipper. The caramel and toffee are barely there, but in the leave they are noticeable, riding with the big malt bill- a necessary respite from the astringent wallop of flavor the beer throws at you.

M- Creamy, smooth, lingering. Alcoholic resin/ sting

O- I'm looking forward to trying this next time it's released. This is a bit of a strange experience, having my first one after it's been aged for a couple years (post-barrel-aging). The hops have remained as spice and light bitterness, the malts are all there, and the bourbon is just wacky. This is a fine beer, a contemplative beast.

Photo of njport
3.5/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of rlee1390
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep ruby almost brown, two finger almost tan head that tries to leave behind some lacing.

S-Lots of bourbon notes, oak, tad bit of peat and coffee

T-Slight bourbon notes when compared to the nose, peat notes, tad bit of oak, as it warms chocolate and coffee come through. Some bitterness in the finish.

M-Medium bodied, very smooth, some carbonation.

O-Scotch Ales are a style that I think should be made more, throw it in a bourbon barrel and it becomes even better.

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5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of klink40
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 4/5/12
*From notes

-- Vintage 2011 --

*Opened side by side with a bottle of the 2010 vintage.

A: Dirty cider-crimson. A good pour yields a 2.5 finger head and decent if not middle of the road lacing. Solid collar and minor lacing follow.

S: Amazing stuff. Woody and sweet bourbon smother the base beer. Just about at peak in my humble opinion.

T: Starts out with a rush of brown liquor. It moves to the mid, where a sweet spine stands tall. The woody, tannic quality kicks in on the back to finish. Even after six months in the bottle, this is still rather hot. Yet it's toned down just enough to give you a good "pop". As it warms, lots of coconut and vanilla exude themselves, as they should. Lingering hints of dark brown sugar are warmly welcomed.

M: Sure it could be thicker, but it's pretty damn big as-is. Bold cabronation and a rich, complex feel add to the top notch presentation.

O: What a treat this beer is. And I'll be quite honest: I'm glad no one really talks about it. This is just as good, dare I say maybe even then some of their other BA offerings. At six months in, this is about at peak and drinking beautifully. A hearty recommendation for the BA Wee Heavy lovers, and beer geeks in general.

2010 Vintage

A: About the same. No real difference, other then a tad bit lighter in color.

S: The bourbon is much calmer. There's a big raisinated sweetness to the bouquet. Less coconut and vanilla, more straight wood.

T: Mellow. The heat subsided quite a bit. More dark, dried fruit and less whiskey. Shorter finish.

M: Actually thicker and bigger then the 2011. More carbonation, yet a silkier feel.

A:3.5 / S:4 / T:4 / M:4.5 / O:4

Verdict: Drink this one around four to eight months after release for maximum enjoyment.

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4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

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5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of Joeybones3
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Bobheed
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark reddish brown, like a chestnut finish color. Pours with a minimal taupe head that lingers on the edges.

S: Getting tons of sweetness, dark brown sugars, caramel. I also get the bourbon characteristics and a lot of woodiness

T: Very, very sweet. Has more dark sugar and even chocolate characteristics. Really tasted a lot of roastiness to it also. Definitely getting the bourbon flavors again too

M: Nice and think, medium carbonation with a very smooth finish. Alcohol is fairly minimal on the tongue

Overall, I really enjoyed this. One of the better scotch ales I've had, definitely the sweetest. While not a great textbook example of a scotch ale per se, it's still a very good beer

Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 6,432 ratings.