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Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard

Educational use only; do not reuse.

6,867 Ratings

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Ratings: 6,867
Reviews: 1,624
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 10.37%
Wants: 844
Gots: 2,416 | FT: 230
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
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Ratings: 6,867 | Reviews: 1,624
Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

Backwoods Bastard pours a dark cherry brown color; there is a nice tint where the light sneaks through in the edge of the glass. A bit of sediment gradually sinks to the bottom of the glass, and there is not much head to speak of on top.

Bourbon definitely comes through in the aroma. Bourbon and oak coat a very malty base beer. Caramel, maple, and smooth grains provide the base aroma.

The flavor is strong, smooth, and reminds me of a bourbon barrel old ale (in a good way). The bourbon is noticeable first, with sweet caramel, raisins, with a bit of molasses, peat, cocoa powder, and hazelnut as well.

The body is full and rich, with carbonation on the low side. There is a very light alcohol burn on my tongue and in my throat, but I expect this in a 10% Wee Heavy. There is a little bit of oily residue behind my lips after each sip.

This has less peat and smoke than other Scotch Ales, but being mistaken for a very good old ale is not a bad thing. I distinctly enjoyed this beer and would like to have it again.

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4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

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4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

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4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

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3.5/5  rDev -19.4%

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4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

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4/5  rDev -7.8%

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5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of mulder1010
3.6/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

355 ML bottle poured into a tulip
Got in Secret Santa BIF
Shared with Mrkennedy

A-- Poured a dark but opaque burgundy color. Good half finger of light brown head that settled into a solid layer of film/ ringed collar. Good spotty lacing with this.

S-- Nice nose. Bourbon, oak, vanilla, raisin, and lots of coconut. To me not really a wee heavy but more of a barleywine in some ways. Lots of barrel notes and not much of the barrel.

T-- A lot like the smell but some added carmel and a lot alcohol. Nice taste but a lot of the barrel really carries this.

M-- Thin in mid and back of palate. Medium feel and light carbonation. Carmel sweet and dry oak finish. Not bad but not overwhelming. Too much barrel notes.

O-- Nice beer but not that nice. Would have again as the barrel enhances the beer but does leave some fairly large gaps here and there.

Photo of natemort13
4.27/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

'08 vintage I believe. Twist off cap and old school label. ABV states 8.7% so the recipe has clearly been tweaked since then. Thanks to Tim.

Pours a very hazy burgundy with the slimmest of films for a cap that dissipates quickly.

Very smooth oaky bourbon incorporated into a ton of dark fruit on the nose. Some molasses, raisins, alcohol.

Taste is also very uprfront with the bourbon with a long caramelly bourbon finish. The smoothest of bourbons. Slightly oxidative. Taste is really very similar to the nose but the dark fruits are slightly more subdued.

Mouthfeel is hardly carbonated. I think it would feel fuller with more carbonation but honestly this seems medium to medium light bodied. A little bit of alcohol sting on the back end.

Overall this is excellent. Very appreciative that I got to try an aged version.

Photo of msarver16
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of POTABLE83
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of laxer8811
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of rodlavers
4.58/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2011 vintage, into snifter.

A. Poured hard, about a half inch head which dissipates quickly into nothing. Dark red amber coloring, definite sediment floating about, hopefully bourbon based.

S. Sweet, bourbon, vanilla, caramel malt, with a bit of booze. Fantastic.

T. Bourbon, but not overwhelming at all; sweet vanilla, wood, malt. Fantastic.

M. Smooth, no bite, but clearly some carbonation, some spice. a bit boozy, but drinkable for the style.

O. This could be my favorite beer, regardless of style. While also a fan of some bourbons, this beer strikes the right balance between beer and bourbon -- it's the balance that makes the beer. Backwoods Bastard throws it's name into the hat of my favorite beer as a STRONG contender.

I am taking the opportunity to re-review the 2011 vintage at TWO YEARS OLD. The bottle before me has a 10/13/11 bottling date imprint.

Appearance -- 4
I poured this thing too slowly for there to be any head whatsoever. Even before I opened the bottle, I noticed quite a bit of sediment resting on the bottom; I took care to store this bottle very carefully, somewhere between 40-50. The dark amber/red hues that arrive with a fresh bottle have faded somewhat, leaving a slightly browner/light root beer coloring. The amber/red is still present, but not as robust. If anything, the red has darkened; in fact, the coloring resembles more of a bourbon now, I think.

Smell -- 4.75
The overall aroma has faded only somewhat. It is sweeter now, with vanilla, caramel malt and , less booze I'd say, but definitely a little bit of sourness to it, nothing unpleasant; I notice this only barely.

Taste -- 4.75
same flavors, much more mellow and well-blended. Bourbon has cooled off a bit,

Feel -- 5
Smooth as can be; mellow, syrupy, nil carbonation. Simply excellent. Feels better with a few years on it. Completely mellowed out, just fantastic.

Overall -- 5
This beer does get better in my opinion. Fresh, it's a bit hot and harsh carbonation-wise. With this time on it, it's totally mellowed out. Even with a year on it, we get similar results. I have several bottles from 2012 vintage with 1 year on them and I plan to let them stick around for some side-by-sides down the road.

Photo of jaasen64
4.19/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle thanks to stevec32. Poured into Hunahpu snifter. Hard to read bottle date, but appears to be bottled on 9/23/11

A- Pours a dark brown that is mostly opaque, but slightly translucent around the edges. Not much of a head, more of just a thin yellowish brown bubbly rim. A little bit below average carbonation. Leaves nice layered lacing.

S- Scotch, molasses, maple, oak, brown sugar. Definitely sweet smelling and a little bit above average aroma strength.

T- Sweet scotch, molasses, a little bit of oak, brown sugar. Definitely sweet and very well balanced. Nice sweet molasses aftertaste that lingers for awhile.

M- Medium bodied, a tiny bit syrupy but not bad, finishes very very smooth, easily drinkable especially at 10.2%. Alcohol very well hidden. Not too much carbonation.

O- This was a great scotch ale. Another great offering from Founders, It kind of reminds me of the Curmudgeon with the molasses taste. Definitely probably one of the best scotch ales I've ever had. I loved the balance between all the tastes including the scotch, sweetness, molasses, etc.. Nothing was overpowering or too subtle. I definitely recommend trying this beer and I would love to pick more up in the future.

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

12oz bottle served in a snifter.
2011 release.

pours a deep coppery tone / borderline mahogany while yielding a thin, short lived head; no real lacing to speak of. really just a slightly above 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. while not flawless, it's a stellar beer, just really tasty. i also enjoy a good bourbon wallop, so admittedly i may be a bit biased here. probably among the last high profile barrel aged beers you can still pick up a four pack of outside of the first two hours it hits the shelves... for now.

(originally reviewed: 09-18-2011)

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5/5  rDev +15.2%

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4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

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5/5  rDev +15.2%

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Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 6,867 ratings.