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Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard

Educational use only; do not reuse.

6,860 Ratings

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Ratings: 6,860
Reviews: 1,623
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 10.37%
Wants: 845
Gots: 2,414 | 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: 6,860 | Reviews: 1,623
Photo of vonnegut21
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep caramel brown with a light tan head. Impressive head retention for a BA beer.

S: A delightful mix of caramel, bourbon and vanilla. The level of bourbon in the nose is just perfect.

T: Much like the smell. Caramel, vanilla and bourbon dominate the malt back ground. There are notes of chocolate and plums as well. The bourbon is very present in this and it's drinking a bit hot, although not in a bad way. The bottle is quite fresh, which could explain it.

M: Slick and mildly carbonated. Almost like having a mouthful of bourbon that doesn't have the burn of the real deal. An excellent sipper.

O: This is an excellent beer. Maybe not quite on the level of KBS, but oh so much more obtainable. Pick yourself up a couple of packs and enjoy following them through the aging process.

Photo of tulipcitybob
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of siege06nd
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Pours a muddy copper with a half finger of light tan head. Settles down to a quarter finger ring around the neck of the glass. Pretty solid lacing.

S. Lots of vanilla, caramel, cherry, chocolate, and oak. Truly delicious smelling.

T. Chocolate, caramel, some vanilla, ripe plum, and bourbon. Quite a bit of bourbon and oak character here, finishing with significant burn and a tannic bitterness from the wood. Still, this is a really tasty barrel aged beer, and reminds me quite a bit of Weyerbacher Insanity, even though they are different styles. Really really good.

M. I'll ding it for the burn and a bit too much prominence of the barrel here. Pretty crisp carbonation, but a nice creamy mouthfeel.

O. Top notch barrel aged beer here. Not sure I can discern that this is a Scotch ale from any other bourbon barrel aged strong ale offering, but it's very good. Bourbon lovers rejoice!

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
3.33/5  rDev -23.3%
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.

Update: 2/4/15

Drinking a 2014 bottle. I'm still not impressed. Scores unchanged.

Photo of Pwidget
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of pentasyllabic
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of yodedawg
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of gustogasmic
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
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
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of Soxfanmcgee
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of klink40
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of DanGolfs86
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

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Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 6,860 ratings.