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Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

6,778 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,778
Reviews: 1,610
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 10.37%
Wants: 831
Gots: 2,368 | FT: 227
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:
Beer added by: CortexBomb on 01-30-2007

"Wee Heavy", cave aged in oak bourbon barrels.
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: 6,778 | Reviews: 1,610 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerBuckeye
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Poursa dark mahogany wood color, slightly reddish hue. Absolutely no head.

S- Smells of dark fruits, vanilla, and oaky Bourbon. Very nice smelling.

T- very robust, complex taste. Tastes of dark fruit, vanilla bean, and smooth Scotch. Very nice blend, bourbon is muted and provides for a nice, subtle, mellow backbone. Very good.

M- Incredibly smooth, even a bit creamy.

Overall- As someone who isnt even a huge fan of barrel aged beers, I found this one to be superb. Great complexity, smooth whiskey taste that isn't overpowering. Very very good

Photo of DaleMcMutt
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of micromaniac129
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my yeti sniffer and rewarded with brilliant ruby amber beer. The head was about average which was fast receeding to a simple foamy collar. Gentle carbonation.

Aroma was all bourbon barrels. Perhaps some toffee malts and burnt sugars.
Taste is sweet with boozy oak. Bourbon is most apparent but not overwelming.
A very warm alchol presence lead me to believe the ABV is much higher.
Drinks smooth with a dry puckering finish.
A warming smooth sipper.

Photo of RedneckBeerz
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of BigJim5021
4.8/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of WillCarrera
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, I can't find a bottled-on date but it's the 2012 vintage, poured into tulip glass.

A- Pours a dark brown with a thin khaki head, leaves spotty lacing.

S- Sweet, rich aroma, lots of caramel, some butterscotch and vanilla as well as a nice dose of bourbon and oak. The aroma really leaps out of the glass and is just delicious.

T- Sweet malty flavors of caramel, butterscotch and vanilla. The bourbon and charred oak barrel are very noticeable as well, the wood lends a bit of dry astringency, although the malt flavors are pretty sweet and rich.

M- Medium to full-bodied, smooth carbonation, a bit sticky with a dry finish and a bit of boozy warmth.

O- This is a damn delicious, wonderful beer. It's very rich and the flavors are interesting enough to sip at all evening. Along with the Breakfast Stouts this is easily one of Founders' best beers.

Photo of rundocrun
4.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep ruby-brown body. Quite clear. 1/2 finger of tan head forms, but fades relatively fast--common for most barrel-aged beers.

S - Heavy notes of vanilla, caramel, and boozy sweet cherries. Woody black pepper, charred oak, and clove aromas are more subtle.

T - Begins with a healthy dose of dark caramel, mild booze, vanilla and toasted oak. The middle is where the scotch ale caracter comes in--spicy fig and ripe berry notes intercalate into the bourbon flavor well. Finish is burnt sugar, oak, peat and vanilla. The flavor overall is a shape-shifter and incredibly complex. A pleasure to sip.

M - Thick body. Booze more prominent with warming, but not overwhelming. Finish is sweet and a bit sticky, but for a true desert of a beer, that's no problem.

Photo of Myst
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Bpierso1
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of Anonymous1
3/5  rDev -30.9%

Photo of pschul4
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Mcbeerbrew hooked me up with this beauty

A- Pours a nice brown with a tiny bit of off white head that leaves just a little bit of lacing on my glass. Sits very dark in the glass, almost black

S- Hints of bourbon and caramel. Nice malts in there as well. Slightly subdued however

T- The flavor is less bourbony than the smell would lead you to believe but its still really tasty. Less bourbon but more caramel malts. Every sip is great

M- Chewy, but in a good way. Definitely a sipper

O- I liked it, didn't love it. Would definitely drink as much as I can get though

Photo of erickehoe
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of Massbmx
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Paul3371
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of VernonKell
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of kojevergas
4.02/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Lucked out and picked this one up locally - albeit for $7.00. 355ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are through the roof; heard nothing but great things about this one. 10.20% ABV confirmed. I dig the label.

Served after a period of rest to warm up after leaving the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a half finger khaki colour head of nice cream and thickness but underwhelming (~20 second) retention - though this is more than excusable for the style. Colour is a very dark ruby-amber; it's not black or brown. Very appealing sleek velvety colour; even if it is quite dark. Nontransparent and (surprisingly) non-opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. There's a certain luxurious quality to its dark hue.

Sm: Vanilla, alcohol (but a warm, inviting type of alcohol aroma), caramel, dark sugars, dark malts, heavy oak chips, fine bourbon, raisin, and more bourbon. Wow. Rich and decadent. A fantastic aroma; I'm really interested in this one. I can't wait to try it. Complex, subtle, and nuanced. Some of the most vibrant oak in an aroma I've ever experienced. Really appealing. No yeast comes through.

T: Vanilla and oak chips up front, with dark raisiny malts forming the near-perfectly sweet clean body. Fine bourbon undertones are evocative throughout, joining with the oak in the climax for a lovely delivery of more vanilla and fine dark fruit. The bourbon and oak aging here is top notch, with the tones complementing the flavours rather than competing with them. Some caramelized sugar throughout. Malty caramel is fantastic and understated; not overbearing like many beers in the style. Some hints of maple syrup in the early second act. Hop presence is minimal to nonexistent. I don't even get floral character off it. I keep wanting to detect chocolate but there's just a fleeting whisper of it and it's gone. Same with some sort of fruity note in there; almost the slightest hint of plum or perhaps even fig. About as subtly done as they come. That's one tasty beverage. Obscenely well balanced. Quite tasty. I can tell she'll drink better as she warms. The alcohol is present as a light touch of heat to warm the stomach; about as pleasant an alcohol presence as is possible. Wow. This redefines how I look at this style.

Mf: Perfect thickness. Slight undercarbonation. Good rolling smoothness and wetness. suits the flavours quite well. I could use a bit more dryness and coarseness on the finish to encourage the next sip. The biggest flaw with this beer is the mouthfeel; which is too smooth and wet overall (though this does bolster drinkability).

Dr: Sweet mother of fuck that's good stuff. Definitely lives up to the hype. Drinks like a fine bourbon but with improved drinkability. This changes the game for the style in my book. Replaces Old Chub as my idea of the ideal Wee Heavy. Drinkable as hell for the ABV - which is itself very well hidden. The vanilla is delightfully subtle and incredibly well executed. I'd definitely have this on draught, well worth aging as well. Another glowing success from Founders. This is one brewery that really lives up to the hype.

Serve a bit warm. She drinks best that way.

High B+

---
03.23.14: Truncated notes from a 2013 vintage bottle served chilled.

Just has one of the finest bourbon aromas out there. The oak, the vanilla, the toasty character...wonderful. Plenty of cream and sweet Wee Heavy malting too.

Doesn't taste quite as good as the 2012 bottle I initially reviewed. The bourbon is there, but it doesn't blend quite as well with the base beer as I remembered. The malting is actually a bit distracting.

Smooth and wet. Near perfect carbonation.

Overall, not the world class Wee Heavy I remember it as. Chalk it up to batch variation. That said, it's still real tasty. I'll be buying it up in future years.

High B

---
Some brief notes on 2014's vintage:

Has a sanguine-amber body.

Bourbon beckons in the aroma.

Creamy, with great vanilla and the rich toasted oak note that keeps me coming back to this beer again and again. Touches of peat really set it off nicely. Scottish malting is a treat here.

Creamy, supple, rich, and refined. What a treat of a texture. Exquisite.

Hat tip to Founders for another great vintage.

Low B+

Photo of vbiliyar
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Jaycase
4.16/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: ruby/caramel/mahogany in color. small tan head which disappears in a blink.

s: bourbon is most forward. oak and vanilla notes. very good aroma

t: following on from the smell, bourbon taste is most forward to me. vanilla, some fruit. a bit sweet.

m: not much carbonation present, seems fine though. slightly syrupy. maybe a touch thin?

o: Finally got a chance to try this. Very drinkable for the ABV, although the alcohol does sneak up on you. I think the aroma on this one is top notch. Not sure the rest lives up to the hype. I did enjoy it but not sure I would go out of my way again to track it down.

Photo of sneaks2210
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.14/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a DFH signature glass. Bottled 9/28/12. Thanks, Andy.

A - Pours a two-faced dark color that depends on the lighting. Black walnut in the shade and a bright ruby color in the light. Very little head and just a trace of lacing.

S - The bourbon is immediately apparent with big sour mash and oak aromas. Some mellowing vanilla and earthy peat as well. Rich and sugary, full of dark fruits. Complex and powerful aroma that works really well.

T - Starts off with brown sugar and plum. A mix of fruits, including banana, give this some belgian characteristics. Caramel and molasses malts contribute to the sweetness. Vanilla comes through in the middle with some bitter baker's chocolate and oak. The bourbon is apparent on the finish, but not as powerfully as in the aroma. Very solid.

M - Initially a bit too carbonated, but after letting it sit for a few minutes it is damn near perfect. Smooth carbonation with a thick body that coats the tongue. Less booze flavor than I would have anticipated.

O - A very good take on a style I don't drink very often. There is a lot going on in the aroma with fruits, vanilla, and the forward bourbon contributions. The flavor is good, but doesn't live up to the aroma in my opinion. It improves considerably in flavor and mouthfeel as it warms. I am happy to have gotten a four pack so I can put a few down and try them with some age. Overall, a very good beer that I wish came to my area.

Photo of itsthepleats
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of rdilauro
4.85/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Once again, a time to taste some Scotch Ale, Wee Heavy! And this was so much of a treat. The pour is liken to a Rusty Nail (Drambuie and Chivas Regal).
A amber but royal color that stands out in the glass. It shines it pours out high standards. The aroma is amazing. A bit of malt, a big hint of whiskey a small very small amount of hops, even though this is a 50 IBU beer.
The taste! Outstanding. It hits your lips and mouth at the same time with a big robust flavor and feel. Its smooth yet has a bit of an alcoholic burn. To me, this is what I imagine folks from Scotland drinking centuries ago. Big robust, full and a good amount of alcohol to keep you warm and satisfied.
CanI put this in the "5" category? Now, only because I need to separate the beers. I wish that Beer Advocate would give us the ability to rate beers based on their types (ie Stouts, IPAs etc)

A year or so has gone since the last time I tasted this. Better than I remembered. The bourbon bouquet was oh so very present, but it was oh so very soft and mild in the taste. A perfect blend
I picked up a 4pk, had 1 with a co-worker tonite and will age the rest (if I a patient enough)....
BA people may kill me for saying this, but I like this one better than KBS



Wait a second, I thought I was taking beer with this one.. Guess I was wrong. The pour was a nice dark black pure and clean. NOt much of a head. I really couldn't pick up many different aromas.
BUT then I took the fist sip I was really taken back.. Big full and it was Bourbon.

The finish to this ale was exceptional. From start to end, this was a very interesting ale.
Cant say it would always be on the top of my list, but it is very good

Photo of JJFordick
3/5  rDev -30.9%

Photo of avschmitt
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 6,778 ratings.