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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

5,195 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,195
Reviews: 1,420
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 630
Gots: 1,524 | FT: 139
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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders Backwoods Bastard Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,195 | Reviews: 1,420 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HopsHops
HopsHops

Indiana

4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a white ceramic cup because my last snifter was recently broken...

A - Very nice, dark caramel color with goldish color around the edge under a light...

S - Sweet, sugar, toffee, candy, tangy....Smells great man...

T - Powerful, Chocolate, toffee, some bitterness...well balanced... WOW

M - slightly carbonated just right, creamy, kinda coats the tongue. Excellent..

D - 10.2% abv. I'd be careful it is strong and you probably couldn't tell if youre not paying attention.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2009 09:02:21 | More by HopsHops
Photo of turamarth
turamarth

Missouri

4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tremens glass.

Appearance: Starts off with about a finger of off white creme colored head. Which dissipates rather quickly. Some small bubbles do stick to the side of the glass. The body is a very nice copper, amber color. Opaque in the center, but some nice lightness to the edges.

Smell: Mmmm malty. Starts off with the sweet hint of bourbon and alcohol. Tasty vanilla, caramel and toffee aromas then waft up to my nostrels. This nose here sort of reminds me of Boulevard's BBQ (Barrel aging aside). After another good nose dive, I got the hint of Marshmallows. Interesting. There's even a little edge from the oak.

Taste: More bourbon up front. Same malty toffee, caramel and vanilla flavors. There is even the hint of something like a sweetened latte, or a really sweetened and creamed cup of coffee. To my surprise there is even a pinch of hops, which adds a nice under lying fruitiness.

Mouth: This is a pretty rich beer, so one could think it would be rather thick. But, the carbonation is just right so that it doesn't become to coating of the mouth. It leaves a nice flavor afterwords though.

Drink: The alcohol is hidden rather well I think. You can feel it, but the taste isn't overwhelming. A sipper yes, but its a good drink.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2009 04:44:40 | More by turamarth
Photo of drpimento
drpimento

Wisconsin

3.88/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

MMmmmm, baby, baby - can't get enough of your beer babe. Luxuriant. Poured with fine creamy, light tan head and good lace. Color is cured cherry wood. Aroma is vanilla, sweet cherries, malt, caramel, and brandy. Flavor is sweet, a hint of roastiness, Texture is velvety with fine carbonation. Some alcohol in the finish which is fairly long and sweet with a tinge of bitterness at the very end. Not a session beer although an excellent beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2009 04:29:23 | More by drpimento
Photo of porterwoobie
porterwoobie

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, poured into a standard pint glass.

A: brown/plum color, slightly hazy, slime tan head that dissipates quickly to a coating, pretty good lacing

S: malt and an oaky, bourbon barrel aroma.

T: it initally has a malty, caramel like sweetness, dark fruity character. the oaky, bourbon comes in at the finish with a slight hint of smoked malts. interesting flavors.

MF: medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: i think this beer is well-crafted, but not something i'll be buying again in the near future. i prefer the "urban" bastard.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2009 01:37:23 | More by porterwoobie
Photo of bonk0076
bonk0076

Wisconsin

3.85/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep obsidian color with a slight beige head that quickly diminishes. Aroma is of bourbon, roasted malt, vanilla, and molasses. Taste is a good combination of vanilla, mollasses and bourbon. Finishes relatively smooth with an easy combination.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2009 01:32:23 | More by bonk0076
Photo of rye726
rye726

Colorado

4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark mahogany with a silky tan head that displays nice lacing and retention.

Nose has lots of bourbon, oak and vanilla up front followed by dark fruits, chocolate, caramel and roasty malts.

Taste has candy malts, figs, plums, whiskey, cocoa, oak and vanilla.

Medium body is a bit over carbonated, but drinks quite well once it opens up.

Another great ale from Founders, never had a bad beer from these guys.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2009 04:15:45 | More by rye726
Photo of sidetracked
sidetracked

Illinois

3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with a thin cream head that dissipated quickly. When held to the light it looks like sediment or air bubbles are suspended in the beer.

Smells sweet and intensely alcoholic--reminds me of rum or whiskey.

Overwhelmingly tastes of whiskey with minor roasted malt, sweet caramel, and woodsy notes. A little alcohol burn at the end.

Goes down surprisingly smooth and is easy to drink. Consistency is thick, but not overly chewy.

Overall a good sipping beer, especially if you enjoy bourbon.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2009 02:32:35 | More by sidetracked
Photo of sinstaineddemon
sinstaineddemon

Connecticut

4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

having some good wee heavys lately, not a bad thing.

A - mahogany, with some deep crimson highlights, plenty visible carbonation feed a modest tan head

S - big malty, raisins and molasses dominate the aroma to me, plus the welcome addition of bourbon ive not found in many wee heavys

T - smoky sweet, quite a complex flavor, sweet dark fruit again, raisins and dates and such, a rich distinct woody caramel flavor at the back end, with some vanilla/toffee sweetness

M&D - smooth and supremely complex, the end of the taste makes the beer, the caramel, woodiness, it is easily quaffed, one of the better wee heavys ive had, up there with Wet Willy

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2009 02:13:28 | More by sinstaineddemon
Photo of muskabeatz
muskabeatz

Indiana

4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a rich brown, with ruby and copper hues when held to the light. One finger head with minimal lacing.

S- Smells of bourbon with a presence of dark cherries in the back of the nose. Slight undertones of butterscotch.

T- Big malty, caramel sweetness, with a noticable presence of bourbon. A bit of a woody, oak taste that gives way to a slightly dry, nutty finish. Slightly boozy for my taste.

F- Light carbonation up front that dissipates, so to not overwhelm the finish. Leaves behind a warming from the alcohol.

D- The alcohol content, which is obvious in the taste, makes this one a pretty slow drinker for me. Can't say I could really drink more than one. However, this beer gets better and better as it warms.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2009 01:37:33 | More by muskabeatz
Photo of Pencible
Pencible

Virginia

4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured a hazy mahogany with a bit of light tan head. It smelled like sweet nutty malt with lots of bourbon and oak, along with some rich caramel and a bit of copper. It tasted like lots of bourbon and oak, with some sweet caramel and nutty malt and cooking vanilla and maple syrup, and a bit of bready yeast. It was slightly thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a bitter aftertaste. Overall this was a very powerful beer loaded with bourbon and oak. Nicely done flavor and good body, but it was a bit much to drink freely so I was happier sipping. Age might help tame this beast. In the end, I enjoyed this beer, but it seemed more like a variation on Dirty Bastard, rather than a true improvement.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2009 16:40:23 | More by Pencible
Photo of birchstick
birchstick

Colorado

4.13/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - pours a very dark, rich brown with a solid one-finger head

S - smells very sweet - a lot sweeter than I expected. There are hints of vanilla and oak, with sweet tones of leather and black licorice. There is also some caramel malt and a dash of dark cherries. There is also a very faint touch of peatiness, as an ode to its scotch ale style.

T - The taste follows the nose. There is a lot of stuff going on in this one - it has taken me a while to decipher this beer. Very sweet, toasted and caramel malts are upfront and play the leading role. The cherries that are pretty subtle on the nose stand out quite a big as well. There is bourbon and sweet oakiness on the finish as you exhale, and it lingers on the palate for a while. This is an ultimate sipper...

M - pretty thin and watery mouthfeel - very average.

D - Wow, this is a pretty hearty brew. You definitely need to sip this one and take all of its aromas and flavors in. I really enjoy the bourbon that lingers between drinks. Another fantastic brew from Founders - I have come to expect nothing but the best from these guys.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2009 03:19:10 | More by birchstick
Photo of ShadesOfGray
ShadesOfGray

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap and bottle...but draught review for this one:
Pours a nice dark shade of caramel brown. Light tannish colored head, pretty thin. Wow the scotch smell is pretty solid. Pick up a little malt and sweetness, caramel perhaps.
Taste is pretty complex. Scotch taste again is very present. Booze aspect is pretty subtle. Sweet flavors again of chocolate or caramel...malty...VERY good. A little heavy, so not a quick drinking beer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-30-2009 19:26:17 | More by ShadesOfGray
Photo of morimech
morimech

Minnesota

4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I think this is the ultimate winter beer. Full of complex aromas and flavors and enough booze to keep you warm. Pours a ruddy brown color with a small tan head that quickly settles to bubbles around the glass. Some sticky lacing is left on the glass. The aroma is a mixture of vanilla, caramel, scotch, rich malt, and some earthiness. The flavor likewise is complimented nicely by barrel aging. Hints of vanilla and scotch along with the richness of the malt makes this a nice sipper. Alcohol warmth in the finish. Full body with carbonation that gives the beer a nice soft texture. Fits this beer nicely. This beer is a sipper so that limits drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2009 23:29:57 | More by morimech
Photo of johntangus
johntangus

South Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Delivered from a keg into my Piggly Wiggly growler and then into my Duvel tulip glass. Pouring a dark ruby hue with a very thin dissapating head.

Nice bourbony smell.

While the bourbon is definitely front and center, there are some nice raisiny dark fruit tastes/smells going on.

Not too sweet, the bourbon-oak cuts the malty flavor making a very rich drinking experience. But it's also not too thick or cloying.

This is a pretty drinkable beer for the ABV. The booziness is nicely hidden - while there is a nice bourbon taste, the associated burn isn't present. The light carbonation accentuates the layers of flavors. Letting this beer warm up a bit awakes even more tastes.

I have enjoyed this beer immensely as my Thanksgiving holiday beer.

Serving type: growler

11-29-2009 05:26:27 | More by johntangus
Photo of TheBierBand
TheBierBand

Ohio

4.63/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12oz Bottle to produce a healthy 1" head of beige foam that lasted and lasted and left pronounced stickage down the glass. The beer is a deep amber/nut brown color.

Nose was pronounced .... good whiff of bourbon and carmel malt.

Taste: WOW.... good bourbon up front, with a nice sweet carmel malt... mellower than Dirty Bastard.

MF: Creamy, rich....everything I want in a wee-heavy

Drinkability: The four pack will last the long weekend.... enjoying this at a pace of about 1 per day.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2009 21:53:04 | More by TheBierBand
Photo of BarrelO
BarrelO

Virginia

3.73/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Ruby red body with a decent sized head.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, and alcohol.

T: Fairly complex. Vanilla, cocount, and cherries. Also pretty boozy.

M: Medium-bodied.

D: Definitely a sipper. Not something I'd immediately go back to.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2009 06:30:54 | More by BarrelO
Photo of Martin2D
Martin2D

New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Dark red with an off white foamy head

S - Not a ton going on here, lots of bourbon and wood

T - Having to wait here to taste it...poured way too cold and don't want to waste any. Alright, here we go. It's very sweet, woody, but thin. Tons of vanilla, but not exactly bursting with flavor, but subtle malts intertwine with a strong alcohol flavor with hints of hops.

M - Very thin with a medium carbonation.

D - It's a pretty good beer, but I wish it had a little more body to match the alcohol and sweetness. A little too boozy and not enough flavor to go along with it.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2009 01:40:06 | More by Martin2D
Photo of cassanoj
cassanoj

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark cherry color, with virtually no head. Spotty lacing.

Smells like scotch, cherries and licorice. Hints of caramel, raisins and maple.

Taste serious licorice, cherries, some raisins, fig and malt, a nice oak and vanilla aftertaste. A nice bitterness.

Mouthfeel is syrupy. Full-bodied and smooth with a little tingle.

Nice sipper. Not too complex on the palate, but still a really interesting brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2009 00:33:45 | More by cassanoj
Photo of soupyman10
soupyman10

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep maroon color with a small head and a touch of lacing. Nose is huge bourbon - delicious, if fairly straightforward. Flavor is similar, huge bourbon and malt. A complex taste - dried fruits, a hint of alcohol spiciness, and then bourbon all over the place again. Absolutely delicious. Body is nice and full, somewhere between syrupy and full bodied. Overall, a delicious one - glad I got to try it. Another winner from Founders.

Serving type: on-tap

11-26-2009 19:48:49 | More by soupyman10
Photo of jbphoto88
jbphoto88

Texas

4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A deep leathery brown beer with loads of red when held up to the light. A simple head the color of buttermilk rises and falls without much show. The beer is slightly hazed but you can see through it, just barely.

The smell starts out with a distinct bourbon whisky character. Caramelized grains, vanilla and a healthy dose of oaky goodness. Absolutely delightful (did I forget to mention that I love bourbon.)

The taste doesn't disappoint either with the characters of the nose following through. Again vanilla and oak dominate the scene and add a nice earthy depth to the malt backbone. Caramel covers up a boozy note that at times can be harsh as well as enjoyable.

The mouthfeel slips a little for me. Such a big beer with heavy flavors has a surprisingly thin mouthfeel. Firm carbonation sizzles my tongue and distracts from my overall enjoyment. I like this brew but think a little more malt flavor and less oak could balance things out better. A tasty sipping beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2009 18:30:50 | More by jbphoto88
Photo of SeanRedd
SeanRedd

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had to review this beer...Burnt cranberry color, thick and oily, light bubbles, sappy center. Light and firm head...nose of dark berries, tons of seeds. Fig newtons, to dried strawberries, to chocolate dipped grain. A biscuity body drizzled in fruity, burnt, boozey, caramel spread, finishing dark, bitter chocolate. A touch of robitussen enters as it warms; thats fine, its the best tasting robitussen I ever drank. Excellent ale...don't need really more than 120z a sitting either.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2009 05:26:45 | More by SeanRedd
Photo of JRed
JRed

New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber/cloudy red sea, dirty penny topped by off white bubbly head. Aroma is frightening: whiskey anyone? Shot of bourbon, wood, spice, some sweet malt. Begins dull sweetness, toffee, woody, molasses, and then wild nights at the bar kick in with JD shots laced with a little sugar that leads into the aftertaste. A dull blade of taste, mild yet heavy. Thick in body with no carb. My face twitches a bit, I'll be honest. Gandalf is chilling in the woods with Leatherface and I got an invitation for dinner.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2009 02:22:53 | More by JRed
Photo of Maxwell106
Maxwell106

Michigan

4.83/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first beer review so here we go.

12 oz bottle poured into a straight side pint glass

A: dark brown with a bit of red, not quite opaque. very little head (probably due to my pour).

S: Incredible! Great earthy aroma with a lot of vanilla, chocolate, and caramel notes coming through. the oak comes through a little bit towards the end, with some sweetness.

T: Vanilla is the first thing that hits me, followed by a rich blend of chocolate, oak, and caramel. The end is sweet with a touch of bitterness.

M: Very thick, but smooth at the same time. Towards the end my mouth started to feel a little coated.

D: For a beer that has a 10.2% ABV this is extremely smooth. Goes down very easy with very little bite from the the high alcohol content.

This is the first beer that I have drank and felt like I just had a dessert. The richness, flavors and aromas of this beer are incredible. In my opinion, I would enjoy it without the accompaniment of food, but that is me. Sadly, this one is only around in November so stock up while you can.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2009 18:26:47 | More by Maxwell106
Photo of AleWatcher
AleWatcher

Illinois

4.68/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: deep dark mohagany red with a tan head that retains surprisingly well for a barrel aged beer. After a few sips I'll add
that the lacing is thick and clinging hard to the sides
of my tulip glass.

S: malts. Oaky and fruity notes. Some dark fruits and a light hint of citrus? Smells kinda sweet too. Maybe like molases or thick unrefined sugar. Also a bit of alcohol on the nose.

T: wow. Very very tastey. Really has a lot going on with this one. It follows the nose but minus any citrus notes. Certainly getting some roasted malts and some alcohol on the finish. I am picking some sweetness either from brewers sugar or from plum cherry or fig flavors. Those dark fruits seem to be part of the lingering aftertaste along with the oaky wood flavor.

M: rather thick. Almost like cough syrup thick. Nice amount of
carbonation for the barrel aging... usually I find that the process makes them more flat, but not in this case!!!

D: this is one heck of a little sipper. Very enjoyable and complex beer that I would say could find a permanent spot on cold weather rotation (if I can find it for sale).

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2009 01:52:57 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of dukedevil0
dukedevil0

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 4-pack from Binny's Lakeview in Chicago, IL. Bottled on 11/05/09.

A: Pours a dark brown color with slight reddish tint and two fingers of khaki colored very thick root beer float-like head that laces as it settles to a centimeter of froth.

S: caramel, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, oak, bourbon, dark fruits, raisins

T: just like the smell, a sublime combination - caramel, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, oak, bourbon, dark fruits, and raisins - it's a little more difficult to pick up the individual flavors and complexity, but it's there...a slight alcohol flavor in the finish

M: very full bodied and well carbonated that makes it feel somewhat creamy for a scottish ale - nothing really mindblowing here though

D: the flavor is really good and it makes me want to keep sipping and sipping, however the alcohol taste make this one hard to drink a lot of

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2009 04:11:00 | More by dukedevil0
Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 5,195 ratings.