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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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

5,287 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,287
Reviews: 1,425
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 656
Gots: 1,547 | 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: 5,287 | Reviews: 1,425 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Chico1985
Chico1985

Massachusetts

3.85/5  rDev -11.1%

Today after work I was originally going to review Red Stripe Jamaican Lager, but since I got laid off 5 minutes before leaving, I decided to break out something special. And oddly enough, the bottle date is 11/4/09, so this is exactly 1 year old. Coincidence?!?!?!

Pours dark blood red/brown, when held up to the light a boatload of floaties are revealed. Off-white head eventually becomes a slight cap leaving some lacing.

Big wood/oak in the scent, along with bourbon, sweet caramel, vanilla.

Huge bourbon taste with lots of nice flavors in the background. Wood, vanilla and caramel still prevail with notes of brown sugar, dark fruit and chocolate as well. Flavors are great and complex but bourbon reigns supreme, reminds me of drinking straight bourbon almost.

Much like the taste, the mouthfeel has lots of potential but it's just too boozy. Numbing to the tongue just like straight bourbon.

Even after a year, this is definitely a bourbon bomb, a huge beer. It's good but you can tell there's excellence buried underneath it all. I'd say this needs at least another year.

11-05-2010 05:26:24 | More by Chico1985
Photo of GDBEERMAN
GDBEERMAN

Colorado

4.13/5  rDev -4.6%

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip: 11.04.10 consumption of 09.30.10 batch.
A: Pours a vigorous two finger head. The head is a light tan color, which sits atop a deep amber body, that show almost the deepest of black hazy. The head settles to a island of round head in the middle of the glass. The lacing that is left from the retreating head and sipping, is thick.

S: The aroma is a high intensity of scotch and oak. The warm note of whiskey is also present. There is a deep and boozy character to this aroma. A bit at the end, is still balanced by a very rounded edge for the ABV.

T/M: The taste is a bit masked on the front by the overly creamy and full mouthfeel. The body shows to be a nice rendition for the style, while adding notes of oak at the very end. The sweetness of malts shows some caramel aspects. Notes of the 10.2% are very relaxed and do not get in the way of altering overall enjoyment. The finish is expressed with strong oak notes and adds a adds a cake batter finish.

D: This beer is overly flavorful and very drinkable for the style. Oak adds a nice and lingering finish that it is warm and is enjoyed best in cold weather. Great brew and will enjoy to see how this beer develops.

11-05-2010 04:34:16 | More by GDBEERMAN
Photo of yeahnatenelson
yeahnatenelson

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

Appearance -- Pours a deep brown with ruddy highlights and one finger of sudsy beige head. Nice lacing, woeful head retention.

Smell -- Bourbon, molasses, maple sugar, caramelized malt.

Taste -- Bourbon quite prominent up front with vanilla-like oak sugars, highly caramelized malts, molasses, and rum-soaked raisins. A modicum of herbal, minty hops toward the finish.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-full body with mild carbonation. The alcohol is invisible, even with the barrel aging. Impressive.

Drinability -- Easily the mellowest barrel-aged beer that Founders puts out. However, it has the least going on. A tasty sipper, if a little one-sided. A Wee Heavy worth trying.

11-04-2010 02:30:25 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of cetherid
cetherid

Indiana

4.22/5  rDev -2.5%

poured into a tulip

A.

A nice dark ruby color. about a fingers worth of offwhite head. A little opaque but when held up to the light, not too bad. A very beautiful looking beer.

S.

Sweet caramelly malts with a little bourbon. Maybe a tiny hint of vanilla and oak. A very nice smelling beer.

T.

whiskey with some very sweet flavors. Caramel, vanilla...almost butterscotch like. One of the best barrel aged beers I've had.

M.

medium bodied. pretty good carbonation. a little syrupy mouth feel but goes down smooth and not too terribly sweet.

D.

definitely a sipping beer. Incredible flavor, but I doubt I could have more than 1 at a time because of the alcohol and sweetness. The beer is a bit pricey so I don't know if I'd buy another 4 pack, but would definitely grab it on tap.

11-04-2010 02:09:02 | More by cetherid
Photo of TheSarge
TheSarge

Virginia

4.35/5  rDev +0.5%

Poured this into a Celebrator glass, for a nice appearance. Pours with about a finger thick of tan head, the body is hazy and dark copper in color.

In the nose there is a cola aroma, caramel, and a slight amount of an herbal finish.

The taste is rich and complex with cherry, toffee/caramel, with a bourbon finish.

The brew is moderately carbonated, and has a smooth oily slickness with a very warm feeling in the end. This is a nice beer to have on a cold October's night.

10-30-2010 01:37:13 | More by TheSarge
Photo of chaz01
chaz01

Ohio

3.13/5  rDev -27.7%

12 ounce bottle that was in my cellar -- no date found on the bottle -- but I believe this was 1-2 years old. Poured into a Founders snifter/tulip glass.

A: Muddy dark brown, thin head recedes quickly.

S: Big notes of bourbon, alcohol and a little rum. That's pretty much all I smell.

T: Starts with a little alcohol and malty sweetness. Some dark fruity flavors mix in with just a bit of tartness. Beer finishes with a little sourness notes.

M: Medium to full bodied, some carbonation provides a tingly feeling in the mouth.

D: Overall a little disappointed -- not sure if the beer just doesn't age well, but the tart sour notes were a bit unpleasant and I would think unintentional.

10-28-2010 02:05:18 | More by chaz01
Photo of thetomG
thetomG

Illinois

3.58/5  rDev -17.3%

2009 vintage...

Clearish brown pour. A bit of tan head.

Aroma and flavor are VERY heavy on the whiskey - a bit too much for my taste to be honest. This is one of the biggest bourbon bombs I've ever had - to the point where it tastes less like beer and more like liquor to me. Not bad, but not my favorite by any means.

It does have a very nice smooth mouthfeel, but overall not something I'm going to be seeking out again.

10-26-2010 03:43:50 | More by thetomG
Photo of BeerImmediately
BeerImmediately

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -11.1%

Catching up on some old reviews...

Pours with a nice deep amber color with floaties and decent carbonation. 1F head.

Surprisingly very little aroma, just a hint of caramel sweetness. Disappointed in this aspect.

Flavors of toffee-sweet malt, and some alchoholic aftertaste.

MF is the winner here... Incredibly smooth, with just a slight bite in the finish - Scottish!

High drinkability for the ABV, and just an overall really easy drinking Week Heavy.

10-23-2010 20:52:09 | More by BeerImmediately
Photo of jpmclaug
jpmclaug

South Carolina

4.53/5  rDev +4.6%

Poured from the bottle into my Founders snifter. I got this as a generous extra from mikesgroove. Thanks! This bottle has an old guy playing a banjo so I believe this is an older bottle. I'm sharing this and some Dirty Bastard with my girlfriend. Interesting to see how the two compare.

A - Brown body with a circle of white head but not much head at all on top. The Backwoods is slightly darker than the Dirty. Not much difference in the two other than that.

S - Sweet bourbon notes dominate this one. Hints of vanilla also but mostly a smooth, sweet bourbon aroma.

T - Real smooth bourbon notes rest on top of a caramel/vanilla/nutty base. The bourbon i really highlighted in this. It is a real smooth bourbon flavor though.

M - medium body with a real light carbonation.

D - Similar to DB this is a sipper. However I enjoy this a lot more. This beer really highlights what a bourbon barrel can do. The bourbon notes are real smooth and delicious. I think when this comes out again I am going to do my best to grab several 4 packs of this.

10-19-2010 01:28:51 | More by jpmclaug
Photo of BradLikesBrew
BradLikesBrew

Missouri

4/5  rDev -7.6%

Big thanks to Elijah for the bottle.

An agressive pour produced a minimal and fleeting head.

Brown body with amber hues, looks muddy almost. Dense, rich, syrupy looking body. Murky and unatractive, but appropriate.

Aromas of sweet boozy oak. Bourbon and toffee are prominant.

Rich, malty and sweet. Raisiny, figy, pruny fruit notes. Oak and bourbon on the finish. Starts sweet, but finishes dry.

Syrupy, full body with little carbonation.

More like a barleywine than anything else. Reminds me of the Jubel 2010 I just had. Not balanced, its rich and sweet flavors make this a beer thats best enjoyed in small doses, but is is quite enjoyable.

10-17-2010 21:23:03 | More by BradLikesBrew
Photo of weatherdog
weatherdog

Illinois

4.3/5  rDev -0.7%

12oz. bottle poured into a John Smith snifter. Bottle dated 11/05/09. Tasted right after a lackluster Dirty Bastard

It pours a fairly low carbonated rustyish brown with a very tiny quick dying head. The beer shows a medium amount of cloudiness.

The nose automatically is the familiar smell of bourbon aging. Wood and vanilla. The beer is particularly smooth in the smell with a great restraint in the aroma that doesn't overpower the nose. It's really inviting and the alcohol is present but not overpowering or harsh, unlike in the lower alcohol Dirty Bastard previously.

SMOOTH, wow this beer is awesomely smooth and the barrel integrates really well. The taste starts off with a nice mellow vanilla and some bourbon. It ends with a mild smokiness as well that is nice and kind of parallels that bourbon taste to just a hint of the scotch.

The body is medium full and a medium amount of carbonation which was surprising considering the lifelessness of the pour. This is a nice sippable beer that shows some nice complexities in the bourbon flavor but isn't filling or harsh in the alcohol content. Overall I really love enjoyed beer which is almost a year old. I think I should try a fresh bottle and then pick up a few more for the cellar because at a year old, this seems like the perfect age.

10-12-2010 06:46:10 | More by weatherdog
Photo of alleykatking
alleykatking

Indiana

3.98/5  rDev -8.1%

Poured from 12oz bottle. Review from notes...

A- Poured a brownish amber colored. Half finger tan head that has pour retention. Lots of streaky lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Nice upfront of caramel malts and some lighter darker fruits. Vanilla and oak come about in the middle of the nose with a hint of bourbon. There is a apple like presence as well. Wonderful smelling!

T- Lots of caramel malts upfront and lasts throughout the entire beer. Some light vanilla and darker fruits hint toward the middle. The vanilla lasts longer than the fruits and clash with a oaky bourbon flavor in the ending. A little muted when compared to the aroma.

M- Medium heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is light for the beer although it works for the beer I think. Caramel malts and darker fruit left on the palate with bourbon and oak notes long into the aftertaste. Flavors were well put together and clean tasting. Alcohol is drying on the palate.

D- This is a nice sipping beer. The higher ABV limits this beer to a couple before moving onto something else. Founder's makes some damn good beers and I like this one like many others do.

10-07-2010 00:26:39 | More by alleykatking
Photo of tai4ji2x
tai4ji2x

Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev -18.5%

no date on bottle found. from notes, tasted in june 2009. poured into tulip glass.

dark brown w/ amber hue, ruby-like under the light. almost clear, but some micro particles floating about (decanted 1cm). 1-finger of yellow-tan head, fades to just wisps and creamy ring. it stays around, but the lacing is sparse and splotchy.

aroma: passionfruit and mango (?!), oaky vanilla and bourbony leather hints. brown sugar and caramel - very sweet smell. citrusy and grassy hops are subdued now, blending w/ fruit and malt notes. everything backs off after a while tho...

taste: malt and bourbon upfront, w/ wood and leather. resinous hops giving a moderate bitterness. troupical fruit still peeks through slightly. resinous and leathery/woody into the finish, lingering in the aftertaste.

medium body, almost syrupy, with astringency from the middle onwards. mild to moderate carbonation helps w/ body, almost creamy even, but doesn't lift away enough resins and tannins.

hmm...

(NOTE: i enjoyed later batches better. re-reviews forthcoming)

10-04-2010 09:22:07 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of bs870621345
bs870621345

New Jersey

4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Thanks to beernerd81 for this as a trade extra. I now love this man for this extra

Pours a deep amber with an off white head of about a half inch. Fades and leaves minimal lacing.

Smells of bourbon and oak right up front with a fruit sweetness in the background. It really only falls short of kbs in smell

Taste is of bourbon and oak, caramel sweetness and fruits. this stuff has really peaked.

Mouthfeel is full and sticky. Love the gentle prick of carbonation.

Drinkability is extremely high. I need more of these bottles as soon as these come out again.

09-14-2010 00:52:57 | More by bs870621345
Photo of obireidkenobi
obireidkenobi

Georgia

4.05/5  rDev -6.5%

This bottle aged close to 10 months. Review will have a bit of a note comparison.

It's a barrel aged scotch ale. Malty beer that started fresh with a big malt/vanilla palate. Great fresh, here's near a year later.

Appearance - Of course the same, amber and clear.

Taste - Fresh- Caramel malt and vanilla. Both notable. Slight oak. Aged - malt tastes of a little age. Sweet caramel. Vanilla. Still very inviting, mucih like it was fresh.

Overall still really enjoy this beer.

09-10-2010 02:14:51 | More by obireidkenobi
Photo of garuda
garuda

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev -5.8%

A - Pours a thick, murky mahogany with a small tan head that has little retention, but surprisingly good lacing down the glass.

S - Big oak notes with bourbon as soon as I popped the cap. Has a good underlying sweet aromas of raisin and caramel malts, vanilla, and some apple cider.

T - Not as complex as I had hoped for, but still good. Starts off with bourbon vanilla flavors with some caramel malt sweetness mid palate, then big oak flavors with a bit of spice through the long finish. Only a little bit of heat from the booze.

M - Full, viscous body with perfectly low carbonation, but there is some residual sugary buildup coating the palate by the end of the glass.

D - Founders calls it a sipper, and I agree. I wouldn't hesitate to buy this one again, and am looking forward to getting more of this heading into the colder months.

09-09-2010 00:43:15 | More by garuda
Photo of drumrboy22
drumrboy22

Colorado

3.98/5  rDev -8.1%

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a McChouffe chalice. Beer was a dark brown/crimson color with a soft, one-finger light brown head. Light carbonation and little lacing.

Aroma was vanilla, bourbon, cherries, malt, caramel and raisins. Smells very sweet and inviting.

Taste was caramel, vanilla, oak and bourbon. Very good, but it's nearly flat and not as complex as the aroma suggests.

A tad hot, but I think this would be a good candidate for a year or two in the cellar. I'd be curious to see how it ages.

A slow sipper that should be allowed some time to warm up.

09-07-2010 04:41:46 | More by drumrboy22
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.55/5  rDev +5.1%

Beer is poured from a dateless bottle (start dating your shit Founders) into a Bruery tulip. Beer is brown and mostly clear. Forms a good one finger head of offwhite bubbles, tiny bubbles, that leaves a ton of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is low but steady. Looks really good.

Aroma is strong caramel and bourbon, nicely boozy.

Beer is medium body, minimal carbonation on the palate. Pretty sweet, mildly dry, creamy mouthfeel, easy drinking. This is a very very good beer. Probably my favorite Scotch to date. Amazingly smooth and completely enjoyable start to finish. Thanks Dustin.

09-04-2010 16:37:47 | More by drabmuh
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev -16.2%

Backwoods Bastard, to use the parlance of the South, looks like something the cat dragged in (if not worse). It looks like a mud fence daubed with tadpoles. It's flat, opaque and turbid with no exuberance or highlights what so ever. With my own fingers I've fished out clumps of sediment that looked like hot fudge, they were lumpy and rubbery like phlegm. Then again, I guess I'd look like shit too if I spent all those months in a barrel.

The aroma smells undeniably good but it's boozy enough to make me feel like the underside of a turnip green. This thing perspires bourbon and booze like a hooker sweats in church. It's a potent smell of spiced cherries, coffee, macerated prunes, chocolate, bitter tea leaves, truffles, toffee and burnt wood. That would all be fine if not for the intense concentration of raw bourbon. So far things are comin' up a bad cloud.

And I say that because I was hoping to drink a *beer*, not a bourbon. This has the vanillin, leather, tobacco leaf, charred oak and cinnamon spice flavours - all wonderful and intense and highly sophisticated flavours, but flavours belonging to the bourbon not the beer. All the sticky toffee pudding, nutty, caramelly and peaty malts and leafy hop flavours I love about Founders' Dirty Bastard are buried. It's definitely tasty but it's all a little too heady.

What's not helping is that the carbonation is slower than cream rising' on last years buttermilk. Plus the alcohol; I'm starting to worry I'll be staggering around like a blind horse in a pumpkin patch. It's musky, burnt, leathery mouthfeel leaves a savory, earthy, cigar box kind of aftertaste that is sophisticated but stiff. Because of its sweet flavours and thickness it's started to remind me of (fortified) vanilla and chocolate pudding.

As it warms, this thing get's hotter than a June bride and leaves your mouth dry enough to spin cotton. If there's one thing I hate about barrel aged beers it's having to pick wood splinters out of my teeth and that's exactly what I'm doing here. I can hardly taste the beer beyond all this burnt, tobacco leaf tasting oak. It's not acceptable in wine to show this much of the barrel or alcohol so what makes brewers think it's ok in beer?

Barrel aging is a lot like remixing a song - it leads to different, unique, interesting renditions. Sometimes, however, a song is just better left alone, especially if the remix distorts the original to a point of it being unrecognizable. In my opinion Founders has taken a great song - one of their greatest hits in fact - and gone and ruined it. Maybe (excessive) bourbon barrel aging isn't my thing - but hey, whatever blows your dress up.

09-03-2010 00:42:00 | More by biegaman
Photo of zoso1967
zoso1967

Michigan

4.68/5  rDev +8.1%

Many thanks to TCgoalie for this beer.

Pours woody deep brown amber with a diminutive light tan head. What little head there is fades fast, but leaves nice, although spotty lacing on the sides of the snifter. I discover as I hold this beer up to the light, that it is completely impenetrable. The aroma is quite alluring with plenty of bourbon and sweet toffee and brown sugar malt deliciousness. I also detect earthy hints from the wood as well as sweet vanilla. Bourbon and sweet malt are definitely the most prominent of the aromas, but all in all it has a well integrated nose. The flavor is not too in your face and very enjoyable. Wonderful bourbon notes mix with a heavenly malt backbone that is bursting with flavors of brown sugar, toffee and caramel. The barrel aging shines through much more in this beer than a lot of other examples, and I can taste the wonderful woody and earthy notes, as well as a surprising amount of vanilla. The mouthfeel is oh so smooth and on the fuller side of medium, with very low carbonation. The alcohol is fairly well hidden in this brew, and it goes down much easier that one would think. If it was not so delicious, I think I would be tempted to drink it too fast. Once again, Founders for the win.

08-31-2010 22:12:25 | More by zoso1967
Photo of herman77
herman77

Minnesota

4.35/5  rDev +0.5%

A: Very dark amber, dark chestnut color. Hardly any light gets through it, crazy for being this color! Small light brown head that dies off to collar quickly. Lots of small bubble lacing coating.

S: Malty and bourbon. Smells kind of like a highland single malt scotch, its got the sweet, floral, honey like scents. Tons of toffee malt and bourbon.

T: Tons of toffee malt with raisins, dates and vanilla. You can pick up the woody notes from the oak aging and obviously the bourbon is present. The bourbon influence is spot on, not to much, not too little. Drier, single malt like finish. Awesome.

M: Medium to fuller body with lower carbonation makes it feel very soft and slick.

D: Awesome drinkability considering its just over 10%+abv. Next to no sign of alcohol really. You can taste the bourbon, but its not "hot" at all. Goes down smooth for a big barrel aged scotch ale.
Another awesome beer Founders knocked out of the park!
I would like to try a a fresh bottle to compare. Bottled 11/16/09

Having a fresh one today (11-16-10) that was bottled on 10/8/10 and I can say that I like this one better with some age on it.

08-25-2010 23:17:31 | More by herman77
Photo of Kendo
Kendo

New York

3.88/5  rDev -10.4%

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip. Body is brown, turning nearly cranberry-red when backlit. Interesting. No real head to speak of - a small khaki-colored film is about it, and it's gone quickly. Plenty of chunky sediment.

S: Whoa - boozy, big time. Scotch whiskey is definitely up front. Some vanilla too, but a waft of alcohol is there every time I stick my nose in the glass.

T: First impression: booze. Caramelized brown sugar and dark fruits, with oaky, bourbony vanilla noted as well. I'm not usually a big fan of this type of profile, but despite the in-your-face alcohol here, the overall dynamic works, as there is some balance between the booze, the sweetness and a drying finish. Alcohol heat is noted in the chest right away. Vanilla and sweetness all-around become more noted as it warms, but with every sip you get that boozy heat down the gulley.

M: Medium+ in heft, good, fine carbonation tickles the tongue nicely. Bigger bubbles would've made this a more harsh experience.

D: Not bad for what it is - a sipper more akin in many ways to a mild whiskey than a beer.

08-18-2010 01:23:25 | More by Kendo
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.95/5  rDev -8.8%

Thanks to Adam for sharing this brew.

A: The beer has a brown transparent appearance, with tinges of crimson. There is a small head and a touch of lacing.

S: Scents include sweet malts, toffee, oak, and bourbon.

T: The beer packs some flavor. The initial taste brings oak and bourbon flavors, followed by a malty sweetness and peat from the scotch ale lurking beneath the wood and booze.

M: The feel is moderately thin, with a slight alcohol burn in the finish.

D: Drinkability is somewhat limited, as the strength and sweetness make this a slow sipper.

08-02-2010 20:23:26 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of dieBierStube
dieBierStube

Michigan

4.68/5  rDev +8.1%

I've had my share of bourbon barrel conditioned beers, but none of them exactly lived up to my expectations. In light of this, tasting this beer was practically an epiphany. I really can't imagine how this beer could be improved. The balance, the mouth feel, the pour, all for me at the absolute peak of perfection. I only wish I had another!

07-29-2010 23:50:57 | More by dieBierStube
Photo of billshmeinke
billshmeinke

California

4.05/5  rDev -6.5%

Poured into a Bruery tulip. Served at approximately 50 degrees. Sick extra from Kelly88.

Heavy handed pour produces a finger of off white head with mostly tiny bubbles tight concentration and bigger bubbles on the top. Dark ruby color bordering on brown. Can't see through this one, no light getting through. Initial head dies down to a bubbly layer of foam around the edge and a slim layer of foam on the surface. Some oily legs, but not oily enough to pull spots of lacing back into the beer.

Smells is of oaky vanilla, boozy bourbon, raisins, figs, and sweet caramel malts. Nutty/fruity bourbon notes reveal themselves with some agitation as the brew warms. Comparisons to a bourbon barrel aged old ale would make sense based on the nose. Very enticing.

Taste is comprised of boozy bourbon up front that melts into oaky vanilla which quickly transforms into toasted caramel malts that end on a boozy nutty bourbon note with a resin/leafy hop bitterness. Bitter nutty flavor lingers on the palate.

High end of medium bodied, flavors aren't super rich which is one of my only complaints with this beer. Low carbonation. A bit coating, but not to syrupy/thick. Slightly hot on the way down.

I could definitely knock back a few of these without being overwhelmed or getting sick of it.

07-19-2010 00:41:42 | More by billshmeinke
Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 5,287 ratings.