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Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard

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4,745 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4745
Reviews: 1404
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 10.62%

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: 4,745 | Reviews: 1,404 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Hoptimus-Prime

North Carolina

5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok, 5/5 isn't easily earned but for me , this beer couldn't taste better than it does, perfection!

Pours darker than I expected, dark brown allowing minimal light to shine through. Not much of a head or lacing, but that's not important to me. Corbonatotion levels can make or break a beer and this one doesn't need any more or less.

Smells of Bourbon with a slight sweetness cutting through.

The taste...oh the taste! First impression leads you to believe this I going to be a boozy monster of a beer, BIG bourbon takes front and center only to lead to a sweeter butterscotch flavor that counteracts the alcohol taste perfectly!

Medium bodied and sticky on the tounge , the taste that lingers on the palate is remarkable!

Overall, this is one of the best beers I've had, lives up to the hype and then some! Dangerously drinkable for 10.2%.
Founders has given me another reason to consider them one of the best breweries out there!

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2013 05:08:23 | More by Hoptimus-Prime
Photo of bushwik


3.98/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Decided to get grab a 4 pack of this. The temperatures have dipped down into the teens here in Chicago so I thought it would work well for the season. I typically don't go for this style but I was intrigued after having a nice bourbon aged ale last weekend during the holiday. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of balance in the beer and the lovely hidden alcohol. It definitely blooms while it warms and everything about the beer becomes a bit more pronounced, the smell the taste and the mouthfeel specifically. A nice creamy mouthfeel with notes of brown sugar, molasses, raisin, vanilla and finally a kick of the bourbon on the tail end that is not overly aggressive like some of the bourbon barrel aged ales out there. I'm gonna hang on to two of these and see how they age, thats if I can hold off from drinking them.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2013 00:35:04 | More by bushwik
Photo of Mattyb79


4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got ahold of a four pack of this after wanting to try it for a couple years.

A: Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Minimal head with the beer being a dark brownish red, almost burgundy color.

S: Mostly bourbon, oak, and vanilla. Very little of the base beer smell makes it through, but that's OK with me.

T: Very impressive combination of sweet bourbon, wood, and heavy malt. The bourbon dominates here.

M: Medium bodied in the mouth with just enough carbonation to tickle the tongue a bit.

O: Very impressed with this brew. The barrel aging does wonders for the beer as I don't really care for Dirty Bastard, but this is great! Can't wait to see how my other three bottles change over the course of the next year.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2013 19:43:44 | More by Mattyb79
Photo of dogglebe

New York

4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My favorites beers are Scottish ales, and wee heavies are my favorite Scottish ales. I enjoyed this one a great deal.

This beer was a clear dark brown is a light beige head of small tight bubbles. The head didn't last that long, which is ordinary for a beer this strong.

The blend of malts with the oak and the bourbon was very nicely balanced, and I'm not a bourbon person. Crystal malt was there in big quantity. And just a hint of smoke.

If I had a complaint about this beer, it would be that it should be slightly more carbonated. Let the aroma fill the room.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2013 21:29:25 | More by dogglebe
Photo of brian44556


4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into Founder's snifter. Bottled 10/2/2013.

Pours an almost opaque black with a thin chocolate head. A steady ring of lace lines the outside of the glass and leaves its sticky presence with each sip. Strong bourbon, vanilla, oak, and slight hints of chocolate highlight the aromas. The taste is right in line with the smell. My palate is met with a mild, upfront bourbon flavor, then catches a hint of vanilla and oak in the middle that finishes with a nice boozy burn. Light carbonation with a warm mouthful from the bourbon makes this a very well-balanced beer. A great, complex, barrel-aged offering from Founder's. The accessibility, cost, and overall complexity make this one of my favorites from Founder's. This ranks up there with KBS minus all of the hype!

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2013 05:00:16 | More by brian44556
Photo of TreyIsWilson


4.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep brown with a hints of red and a thin white head.

S - Lots of vanilla, caramel, oak, and bourbon.

T - Just like the smell. Nice mix of vanilla, bourbon, and oak. Slighty boozy finish.

M - Medium mouthfeel with little to no carbonation. Very easy drinking for the ABV.

O - An awesome beer. This is such a well balanced beer with the flavors blending seemlessly. I will have to save a few of these for the colder months.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2013 03:28:24 | More by TreyIsWilson
Photo of BigBearBeerBro

New Jersey

4.63/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is always one of my favorites... every year... Couldn't wait to see this available... I only hope to be able to save one or two for the holidays!

A: Pours a cloudy maple with a nice creamy brown head...

S: Smell is a beautiful mix of oak-bourbon-toffee. With a hint of tobacco.

T: Matches the smell perfectly. Oak, bourbon, maple syrup, boozy finish. Delightful!

M: A nice rich creamy feel. Nice.

O: This is my absolute favorite vintage of this beer. I will definitely be buying more of this. Once again, will be tough to save a few bottles for the holidays...

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2013 04:19:31 | More by BigBearBeerBro
Photo of darthvohn


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

Glass Used: Imperial glass

Appearance: A deep Grade B Maple syrup color; thick pour with a few mils thin head.

Smell: For me, I got a huge whiff of praline & carmelization with oak & some bourbon with the vapor of the alcohol.

Taste: Perfectly balanced bourbon and oak upfront, finishing with a sweet soft bourbon and what I can only describe as homemade butterscotch (not the candy). Though the alcohol is present in the aftertaste, it's not harsh.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation and smooth.

Overall: This is a complex and well crafted beer. I absolutely love everything about this one and will revisit an aged bottle this time next year.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2013 16:34:50 | More by darthvohn
Photo of EnthusedAboutBeer

New Jersey

4.73/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been fortunate enough to enjoy on tap as well as out of the bottle, each time being equally as good.

A: dark amber/brown with a thin head

S: Sweet bourbon/syrup as well as oak and some slight fruit notes

T: Very sweet caramel malt along with moderate oak flavor. The bourbon notes are quite pronounced but the other sweet flavors create a delicious balance that keeps you coming back for another glug.

M: Pretty heavy bodied brew, sticks to the palate immediately and stays there for a while leaving a sweet almost candy like taste.

O: One of the best scotch ales out there, the barrel flavor really comes out in this one. A classic among wee heavys

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2013 08:36:44 | More by EnthusedAboutBeer
Photo of KTeamLSU

South Carolina

4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. stubby bottle into a pint glass

A: Poured like warm syrup, deep brown with a lighter brown around the edges, no head

S: I got some oak and sweetness, but didn't get much in the way of complex smell off this one

T: I got some oak, maple sweetness, malts, the high ABV was hidden very well by the bold flavor combinations.

MF: little to no carbonation as expected after aging but still a great smoothness for so much ABV, definitely not a booze bomb.

O: This beer was solid, a little too sweet for me as it seemed a better syrup then Scotch Ale, but I still enjoyed it and will likely by yearly

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2013 08:34:07 | More by KTeamLSU
Photo of mc4z


4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Very dark brown color, small head with moderate lacing. The smell is pure bourbon - I'm getting a lot of oak and vanilla. I can also detect some of the booziness in the nose. The taste follows the smell, with the bourbon notes shining through at the beginning, but the scotch ale comes through after the bourbon fades. I think the two sets of flavors are really well-balanced. The mouthfeel is smooth and lightly creamy. For the ABV, this is pretty drinkable. Overall I think this is a really great barrel-aged offering from Founders.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2013 21:53:35 | More by mc4z
Photo of tillmac62

South Carolina

4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours a dark brown with red tints that has a very nice head and lingering lacing. Nose is of bourbon against a molasses, dark malt and chocolate background. Carbonation is average and the mouthfeel is a light medium. I was expecting a full medium body, but the lightness helps bring the bourbon flavor forward. The 10.2% alcohol is well hidden in this very well balanced beer. Bourbon against the molasses and dark malt backbone is the taste profile. Finishes with bourbon and malt sweetness with a touch of oak and a nice alcohol burn that lingers along with the oak. Another outstanding Founder’s offering that takes Old Ale brewing to a new level.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2013 21:14:31 | More by tillmac62
Photo of kylelenk


4.48/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle and on tap.

A- A very burnt caramel color with hardly any head when poured appropriately into a snifter.

S- Very deeps hints of vanilla, alcohol, oak, caramel, and tobacco.

T- Very creamy mouthfeel fresh and when aged. Has nice velvety mixes of caramel and brown sugar. Dark currant and figs mix with an almost absent hop presence. A noticeably hidden booze taste comes at the epilogue. Let it warm up and the flavors blend even more.

M- Very light on carbonation and an easy mouthfeel. Only complaint is it feels a bit "thin." Very easy to take back two or three in a round.

O- Overshadowed by other barrel aged beers from Founders. I find BWB easily available and this year...incredibly inexpensive at $12 a four pack.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2013 23:35:16 | More by kylelenk
Photo of joeseppy


4.29/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a flat glistening cola perception.

Mellifluous aromas of brown sugar, caramel, vanilla, graham crackers, glazed donuts and I almost forgot, bourbon.

Bourbon forefront with peat malt. Sweet caramel, vanilla wafers and alcohol.

Velvety, warming and inviting.

Malt heads dream. Bourbon is spot on and drinkable now- no need to tame this one down. Very difficult to get around here but yet thru tenuous searching, was able to score a few 4 pks. Definitely worth the hunt down and reminds me every year that Thanksgiving is around the corner. Very similar to my liking of Central Waters barrel aging. Fantastic BA scotch ale!

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2013 22:37:02 | More by joeseppy
Photo of fx20736

New York

4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 4 pack from Southtown Beverages November 2013.

Poured from a bottle into a nonic, served at cellar temp.

appearance: beautiful chestnut brown with 3 fingers of light brown khaki head, awesome lacing.

aroma: sweet bourbon, pancake batter, vanilla, butter.

mouthfeel: super. Soft yet full and tangible.

taste: Bourbon, while prominent on the nose is well blended into the taste of dark fruit,brown sugar, vanilla and oak.

notes: Founders, what a brewery!

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2013 17:38:55 | More by fx20736
Photo of turbotype


4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Not going type a wall of text here, just wanted to say that I think this brew lives up to the hype. Its a unique brew that is as deep, dark and boozy as you heard, and its terrific. Pours thick very little head that rises over time, then slowly recedes. Smells of sweet caramel and bourbon and tastes the same. A hint of bitter vanilla in the finish. Feel a little flat in mouth, as expected from a barrel aged brew. As someone else in the review section said, this blows away any Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy I have ever had.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2013 22:54:05 | More by turbotype
Photo of GameFreac


4.39/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Originally had the 2012 version at a bar from a bottle. It was good but I didn't see what all the fuss was about. I'm also not a fan of Dirty Bastard.

The hype returned so I tried a single of the 2013 version

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color and it looks like there will be no head but the carbonation slowly creeps up (similar to a nitro beer) and forms a dark brown head. Looks real nice.

Smell: Really awesome nose. Vanilla, toffee, butterscotch, dak fruits, bourbon. Very sweet.

Taste - Taste mirrors the nose with more bourbon. Really great vanilla aftertaste. Just a tiny bit of booze/bourbon burn on the aftertaste but it's barely there.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel.

Overall: Way better than I remember. Love this beer. The thing I love about this beer is that the bourbon is blended well and isn't boozy or overpowering the other flavors. They just mix together perfectly. Amazing beer and my favorite scotch ale now. Had to go back and get a 4 pack.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2013 06:19:41 | More by GameFreac
Photo of IPA1978


4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- dark cola in color, thin head little to no retention, wine like lacing.

S- Dark fruits, vanilla, toasted marshmallows, cocoa, boozy, reminds me of port.

T- Thick rich dried fruits, figgy pudding, vanilla, caramel, oak, hops are there but hard to discern amongst the strong flavors but bitters and brings it all together. Finishes surprisingly dry and a boozy but not overwhelmingly so.

M- velvety smooth light carbonation, fills the mouth with a warming fullness similar to port.

O- An absolute surprise, possibly the best bourbon barrel aged beer I've had. A bit rough at times but I can see this beer approaching perfection with some age

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2013 23:45:24 | More by IPA1978
Photo of MacQ32

South Carolina

4.36/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a mahogany amber color but is quite dark once accumulated in my Charleston Beer Exchange tulip/snifter with a nice finger of darker caramel head with solid retention and very strong lacing.

S - Lots of sweet rich malts, tons of boozy sweet vanilla aromas, maybe a hint of raisin type aromas. Possibly some light licorice

T - Initially quite boozy followed immediatly by a fantastic sugary sweet flavor. Initial taste is heavy booze and vanilla, sweetness consists of molasses, caramel, dark sugar, vanilla and im getting nice subtle hints of coconut type flavors. Aftertaste is a mix of faded booze and sweet deliciousness. I'm kind of getting an almost marshmellowey flavor as well. Borderline 4.5

M - Fullish bodied, definitely a sipper, good carbonation, extremely enjoyable to drink at a moderate or slow pace. I'm going through this one rather fast - really loving this.

O - Fantastic flavor, still quite boozy but much better balanced from fresh 2012 BWB. The sweetness is absolutely fantastic and holds up to the booze reasonably well.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2013 22:08:01 | More by MacQ32
Photo of KYGunner


4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 Served in a chalice

The coloring is murky, dirty brown but with a glowing dark redness in the right light. The head set quietly in a sheet of tightly knit foam.

The aromas are pronounced with an array of dried fruits, chocolate, caramel and bourbon. Date and prune are tucked in a creamy sweet coconut and vanilla. Chocolate and caramel malt follow as it ends with a sweet bourbon and a touch of oak.

The flavors are not as pronounced or as easy to distinguish as the scent but I find thick chocolate notes, coconut, port wine and heavy bourbon whiskey.

The feel is so mellow, smooth and it has a silky thickness. It holds almost no carbonation and the high ABV is lost but a slight spike at the rear of the throat.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2013 00:06:19 | More by KYGunner
Photo of alaimoa


4.19/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Overall a heavy hitter on the ABV that surprisingly mellows as it warms with nice bourbon and oak notes that are agressive but not too much and just the right amount of sweetness without a thick stickiness. Would think about one year in the basement would smooth it out a bit

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2013 13:36:30 | More by alaimoa
Photo of JDizzle


4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle. 10/7/11 dated

A: dark brown the a little light coming through. not much head and lacing tracks down the glass.

S: Smells like bourbon bliss with a sweetness that makes you want to chug tons! A malty sugar sweet smell complinents the heavy bourbon barrel whiff you get. Very nice!

T: Boy, this is like bourbon heaven!! I have had this numerous times, but it seems as if it's been soaked in that barrel for a long time. Really strong bourbon and barrel taste with a sweet old ale base that makes it a delight. I had this on tap recently and was not impressed, but this bottle is influencing me for the better. I am digging this beer!

M: Taxing,but not overly done. The bourbon will wax you over a few, but one or two of these is perfect. Medium carbs with a nice mouthfeel.

Really good bourbon barrel style old ale that I will buy more of in the future. Thanks Founders!!!

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2013 03:46:50 | More by JDizzle
Photo of bram325


4.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Fantastic example of the style. I really enjoy the dirty bastard so this is jut that one step better after being in the barrels. Everything about it just sits right with me from the color to the finish. If you are a fan of Wee Heavys this is a must..

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2013 14:34:57 | More by bram325
Photo of Duane_Opfer


4.01/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a stemmed goblet. Bottled on 9/27. Consumed on 11/17. Written from notes.

A - Brown approaching black with a purplish tinge. No head. Off white ring of foam on edges of glass. Light carbonation.

S - Bourbon, caramel, toffee, and molasses. Very boozy, but expected.

T - Boozy, but not as strong as I expected. Bourbon, vanilla, toffee, and brown sugar. Very warming.

M - Low point of beer. Lightly carbonated. Somewhat thick. Not much going on here.

O - Other than mouthfeel, a solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2013 15:09:58 | More by Duane_Opfer
Photo of stix86


4.91/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer is simply amazing. The color is a dark brown with some reddish hues. I poured it into a pint glass it has a very nice 3/8 inch head which brought out the smell. The smell is of sweet bourbon with an Oakey hint. Tastes was very similar to the smell with a bark roasted bourbon flavor. The mothfeel was very smooth even with the higher abv. Overall this beer is great.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2013 03:59:25 | More by stix86
Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 4,745 ratings.