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Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard

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5,297 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,297
Reviews: 1,426
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 658
Gots: 1,548 | FT: 143
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: 5,297 | Reviews: 1,426 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of endincolorado


4.6/5  rDev +6.2%

Pours a nice, deep reddish-brown with some haze, and very little light coming through. Tasty looking, creamy tan head settles slowly with bubbles of various size. Nice sheets of lace stick around on the sides of the glass.

Delicious notes of oak and bourbon right up front, accompanied by a malty sweetness in the background and some grain that reminds me of single malt scotch. Faint alcohol. I cannot wait to sip.

Damn, i wish this was more readily available. A perfect medley of vanilla, bourbon, oak, malty sweetness, and toasty caramel that is carried by a rich, creamy texture with just the right amount of carbonation. Some alcohol is noticeable and helps complement the brew. This beer takes me back to September tours in Bardstown, KY inside the Maker's Mark distillery, with all of the smells of the sour mash and wood.

I could drink this all night (and with breakfast in the morning) but that probably wouldn't be wise). As a bourbon lover, (and lover of scotch ale, and Founders Brewing Company) I might be a little biased, but I strongly urge any fan of barrel-aged beer to give this one a shot.

11-18-2009 06:01:41 | More by endincolorado
Photo of smerrell


4.6/5  rDev +6.2%

Served in a bottle

Appearance: Dark amber, the head dissipates quickly

Smell: Hard to detect any - maybe this bottle is too cold?

Taste: Coconut, vanilla and a nice, smooth oak- the oak in this beer is much more pleasant than others I have tried

Mouthfeel: The first taste is sweet, that changes to a bitterness at the back of the tongue

Overall: A rich, smooth wee heavy that has a nice hoppy balance.

11-06-2011 23:25:37 | More by smerrell
Photo of sneakybird


4.6/5  rDev +6.2%

Great caramel color and a thin ring of lace at the edge of the glass. Tons of bourbon and oak on the nose, a little vanilla. Taste follows aroma with some extra malti sweetness behind. Lightly carbonated and super smooth, moderate alcohol warmth. A sipper.

01-14-2012 22:15:45 | More by sneakybird
Photo of sweemzander


4.6/5  rDev +6.2%

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled on 11/05/09. Only 2 days old, now thats fresh!

(A)- Pours a super dark mahogany that is borderline black. Produced a good off-white head that dissipated to bubbles after leaving behind some tiny bits of webbing behind.

(S)- Some light berry fruits with a toffee, fig, and a woodiness mixed together to create an interesting aroma. Definitely some smokiness present from those oak barrels.

(T)- Wow, great dark berry fruits, fig, raisin, cocoa & vanilla. Some cola-ish nuances that remind me of Dr. Pepper. A silky woodiness that has a slight smoky/mineral characteristic. Fantastic Complexity and character to it.

(M)- Great carbonation level with a great body to it. There is a slight warming sensation as it goes down, but otherwise the 10.2% abv is integrated very well. Sweet, but in a balanced way. The fruits & wood counterbalance the sweetness well.

(D)- A very good beer. I was expecting something extremely potent (it is!) but in a much more delicate/complex sense. The oak bourbon barrels really makes this brew shine. If it tastes this good fresh, this should be really interesting with a year of age on it. Well done, once again Founders!

11-07-2009 22:52:47 | More by sweemzander
Photo of MacDomer


4.6/5  rDev +6.2%

I picked up two 4-packs of this when it came out and have already gone through half of them. Here's to the 5th one tonight!

A - Great, rich dark stained mahogany color. Can't see through this but it lightens up around the edges for a nice effect. Despite the high ABV, I got a nice head on the pour, though it didn't last for long. However, there's a nice light tan ring left behind and tons of sticky lacing. Tons...

S - Welcoming and warming smell of soft bourbon, vanilla, wood, dark fruits, cherries, and malt. Very inviting. A hint of alcohol. Super.

T - Bourbon is less pronounced in the tast than in the nose for me, while the vanilla and wood pop pout a bit more. Nice wee heavy base with sweet malts, dark fruits, and more malty goodness. Warming alcohol on the finish.

M - Very creamy. Soft, round, really fills the mouth. Medium-full body. More warmth on the way down...perfect for this cold winter night.

D - I was craving this beer tonight - wanted something with bourbon, wood, and some alcohol. And I'm big on wee heavies...love this beer and I will get some every year.

12-20-2008 04:32:17 | More by MacDomer
Photo of Wolfpack2005

North Carolina

4.6/5  rDev +6.2%

A-Poured into my DFH snifter with about .5 finger head that didn't last very long. Dark brown/amber in color .

S-Picking up a pleasant mixture of scents, mainly dominated by vanilla, oak, and whiskey. Also subtle hints of caramelized sugars and alcohol.

T-A nice sweet malt flavor opens up the taste buds for the strong bourbon flavor that balances the maltiness perfectly. Also tasting notes of dark fruit, vanilla, and oak.

M-Very smooth, medium body with mild carbonation.

O-An excellent beer one that I will get on an annual basis. Not usually a fan of the scotch ales, but the bourbon/oak in this one balances out the sweetness perfectly.

11-30-2012 00:17:24 | More by Wolfpack2005
Photo of JWU


4.6/5  rDev +6.2%

12oz. bottle poured into a curved porter glass.

A- a dark ruby/brown, translucent when held to light. A thin light tan head sits on top and dissipates very quickly. A little bit of lacing down the glass.

S- You get the dark, slightly smoky/peaty malt bill of dirty bastard, but there's the added complexity of the barrel. Oaky, with some vanilla and toasted coconut. Could use more barrel characteristics in the aroma.

T- Dark, peaty caramelized malts and bourbon character lead way into some boozyness, but the absolute party in my mouth starts mid to end. It gets a heavy oaky vanilla character with a lovely toasted coconut flavor as well. It's so smooth it's almost criminal.

M- Thicker and more syrupy than you would initially think. Sweet, but does dry a bit on the finish. Light to medium carbonation.

O- A truly fantastic example of what barrel aging can do to a beer.

12-01-2012 01:29:48 | More by JWU
Photo of DevilsCups

New York

4.6/5  rDev +6.2%

On tap, 9oz snifter.

A - Gorgeous deep red pour, with a surprisingly light brown head. Great looking beer. Lacing is solid.

S - Absolutely one of the best smelling beers out there. It's a home-run of aromas. Huge bourbon notes, big maltiness, hops are present but take a bit of a back seat. Vanilla and woody notes from the barrel are the stars.

T - Big bourbon notes with a great base malt flavor. This really is a great beer. The notes I get are closer to BCBS than KBS, which is pretty interesting. What can I say? Bourbon, malt, vanilla and wood. Perfect.

M - Thick and chewy, but not annoyingly so. Perfect thickness for the style and coats very nicely. Carbonation is perfect, but I'm having this on tap so your mileage may vary.

O - Just outstanding. I don't dabble into this style often, but this beer is one I'll always drink when I see it. Founders doesn't mess around with their barrels.

03-14-2012 20:10:21 | More by DevilsCups
Photo of wood2430


4.6/5  rDev +6.2%

The first incounter with this beer was remarkable. The appearance came with a wonderful copper color. The bourbon smell was right on point with taste that was an explosion of bourbon, malts, and hops. The mouth was pretter bitter and had a puckering effect because of the bourbon aging.. Overall it was an excellent experience for a seasonal brew..

02-16-2010 03:16:17 | More by wood2430
Photo of roadhouse


4.6/5  rDev +6.2%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

Appears a dark reddish brown with a half inch light tan head. Leaves some decent lacing behind, but it's mostly spotty.

Aroma has lots of caramel malts surrounded in a blanket of bourbon, oak, and vanilla.

When I first sipped this my first reaction was to scream with pleasure. Absolutely delicious. Starts out with a big burst of bourbon and vanilla soaked caramel then follows with some chocolatey and oak tones and a delicious bourbon aftertaste. The is definitely one to cleanse the palate in between sips to enjoy every single one.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, medium-full bodied.

I have had the regular Dirty Bastard and thought it was pretty good but I had no idea it could be improved this much. This stuff is great, I'm gonna have to get another four pack.

11-04-2008 05:16:26 | More by roadhouse
Photo of PrinceDarren


4.6/5  rDev +6.2%

Drank this for dessert tonight after Chinese dinner.

Poured into a Duvel tulip. It is certainly not very attractive in appearance. Rusty in color with no head. Resembles bloody urine.

Smells like toasted oak, vanilla and honey-suckle. With a little bourbon cutting through on the nose (but not too much).

Tastes like cream soda with leather. Not overly sweet, not overly alcoholic. This would be the perfect companion for a good cigar! It has nice vanilla tones that don't overwhelm.

This lived up to my high expectations. I look forward to trying it again soon with a Havana stogie. If it pairs up as well as I hope, I am going to need to load up on a case of this stuff!

11-19-2009 02:15:19 | More by PrinceDarren
Photo of LordAdmNelson


4.6/5  rDev +6.2%

200th review! A nice molasses brown with bourbon highlights. Almost no head, although I can't knock it too much because of the ABV. Nose is very reminiscent of other big bourbon beers, notably similar to BCS. By that I mean that the nose is nearly all bourbon, but I still like it. Vanilla, oak, and earthy notes abound. Again, this is quite like a lighter version of BCS. Delicious. Amazing how underneath the initial bourbon assault comes a bit of leafy/earthy hops and a decent alcohol and slightly spicy kick. Fantastic take on bourbon aging, surprised more people don't try it with ales. Mouthfeel is creamy, slick, and full bodied. I'm really impressed. Tremendous sipper, interesting, complex, delicious.

12-10-2009 03:34:56 | More by LordAdmNelson
Photo of VelvetExtract


4.6/5  rDev +6.2%

A-Pours a deep brown with beautiful crimson highlights. Very small head. Leaves tan splotches of lacing. Liquid is translucent. The color of the beer is pretty.

S-The bourbon is quite evident and it frankly smells pretty delicious. Along with the bourbon is some sweet caramel and molasses. Dark fruits and even some nuttiness. Alcohol is evident but it also solidifies the bourbon aroma.

T-What a beautiful mixture of chocolate and bourbon. Oak and vanilla. Dark fruit, nuts. Caramel sweetness. The initial taste was purely delicious. The bourbon is set to a perfect intensity. The flavor really surprised me, it exceeded my expectations.

M-Creamy. Carbonation is mellow but enhances the feel. Medium to heavy body. Drying. Bourbon lasts on the palate. Feel is a great complement to the flavor.

O/D-This far exceeded my expectations. I usually don't love Scotch Ales, but this one is delicious. Looks like I need to buy a four pack instead of just a single. $4.15 for a bottle is pricey but its worth it. This is a gem. Founders is among the best.

10-19-2011 02:31:34 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of PorterLambic


4.6/5  rDev +6.2%

At 8:00 a.m. my 8 year old son said, "Take this sacrificial cheese!". The weirdest wake up call I've ever received, but a seriously good one. Now it's 10:30 p.m. and I just took my first sip of this beer ever. And a seriously good one it is.

Pours a kind of red/orange tinged brown, slightly cloudy with very little head at all. What there is is light tan in color and disappears quickly becoming just a thin ring that last a long time but leaves no lace at all.
Smell is amazingly complex. Malt, wood, whiskey, vinous, molasses, peat, spices, raisins. Great balance.
Taste is spot on with the nose. Malt, whiskey, oak, vinous, molasses, hops, spices (pepper and others), raisins, peat. So complex, so delicious.
Medium bodied with a slightly sharp carbonation up front that recedes quickly. Very warming even while still refrigerator cold. Not particularly smooth sadly and slightly thinner than I might expect. But an extremely good beer. Glad I have 3 left.

08-06-2013 03:07:33 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of Or80rowley


4.6/5  rDev +6.2%

A. Dark red, nice two finger head

S. Sweet bourbon, oak, toffee

T. Just like it smells, but I also pick up a little coco and light coffee, nice sweet oak. Reminds me of bourbon with coke

M. Smooth, dry finish

O. I was impressed, you can't go wrong with founders

01-04-2014 21:32:53 | More by Or80rowley
Photo of WesM63


4.6/5  rDev +6.2%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a CBS Snifter.

A: Pours a very dark murky brown. No head is present, minor amounts of lacing.

S: Bourbon, oak, vanilla with a minor hint of some darker malts.

T: Vanilla and oak on the tongue, dark malts follows to a near sweet finish. Moderate amounts of bourbon throughout.

M: medium to full body, moderate carbonation. Enough heat to let you know you're drinking a bourbon barrel aged beer.

O: Founders doesn't disappoint when it comes to barrel aged beers. This is delicious and very complex, seems to get more complex the warmer it gets.

11-20-2012 02:50:51 | More by WesM63
Photo of bruemaster


4.6/5  rDev +6.2%

i stumbled upon Backwoods bastard at a local bar, as a lover of scotch and beer i gave it a taste.

A: Dark amber color, had a thick head that lasted through the drinking of the beer

S: On initial smell this beer reeks of whisky, with all of the taste notes that go along with it. since whisky is nosed and not often drank when reviewed the smell can tell you a lot as it did with this beer.

T: Initial taste is very much like scotch minus the hard burn of 40% alcohol. the after taste is sweet and very malty...pleasing to the palate.

D: this is not a beer that i would wont to consume a lot of in one night but will definitely have again. its smooth to drink and full of flavor

final note: if you like the taste and the aroma of scotch this beer is perfect.

01-08-2011 15:24:59 | More by bruemaster
Photo of Centennial


4.6/5  rDev +6.2%

12oz bottled 9-30-11, poured into snifter

A. Nice amber with ruby highlights, one finger head fades rapidly to just a thin carbonation ring around the outside top with a swirling whirlpool like formation in the center.

S. amazing caramel and butterscotch aroma, subdued bourbon, with each sniff it begs you to dig deeper, it smells delicious.

T. Caramel and brown sugar and scotch up front are balanced by the hops and oak, but smooths out yet again with a nice maple bourbon in the finish.

M. medium body with buttery smooth texture, minimum carbonation but sufficient.

O. Excellent bourbon barrel aged "old ale" or "wee heavy" depending on how you classify it. Highly recommended. This will vary year to year and is great to have in the cellar.

11-05-2011 06:14:13 | More by Centennial
Photo of beerdrifter


4.59/5  rDev +6%

Picked this up in a great trade with Evan! Beautiful mahogany pour with a hint of ruby when held to the light. One and a half finger head with decent retention and great lacing. Big buttery, woody nose with hints of butterscotch, vanilla, oak, and bourbon. The taste is extremely unique and unlike any other beer I've had. Tons of oak, butterscotch and creamy caramel along with hints of bourbon, toffee, tobacco, and just a touch of dark fruit. The mouthfeel is the only perfect 5 I've ever given. It's totally incredible! Smooth and creamy with a touch of oil and a spicy, warming finish. This was an extra in my trade so I have to thank Evan as I may have never tried it if it wasn't for him! Another mind-blowing beer from my favorite brewery!

01-09-2013 17:51:56 | More by beerdrifter
Photo of gcamparone

Rhode Island

4.59/5  rDev +6%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip. Purchased at Wakefield Liquors in Wakefield, RI.

A- Pours a dark mahogany, slightly hazy body with a 1.5" cream head that has little retention/lacing, which is understandable at 10.2 abv.

S- Strong bourbon upfront. After a few more swirls I get caramel, vanilla, and an ever-so-slight boozy aroma.

T- The first thing to hit the tongue is a very present honey-bourbon flavor. This transcends into a delicious sweet caramel-vanilla note. Finally, this brew ends with an oaky, woody, smokey flavor with a slightly boozy bite. Leaves a nice hoppy bitterness on the tongue. That sure was a fun ride.

M- Creamy and thick, medium-low carbonation.

Overall I was very impressed with this brew. The complexity is stunning, the flavor is amazing, and the balance is like no other. It's definitely a sipper than demands sip after sip. If you can get your hands on this one, do it.

11-28-2012 01:23:49 | More by gcamparone
Photo of ubenumber2


4.59/5  rDev +6%

12oz bottle about 10 months old poured into a tulip

Dark brown pour with a thin tan head and no lacing

The smell is wonderful , I pick up bourbon and butterscotch off the top with some vanilla in the background

The mouth on this one seems a little thin to me for the style , the carbonation is just right

The first taste I pick up is the bourbon right out front and it stays through the whole drink. I pick up a lot of dark candied fruits on this one , a super sweet and malty beer

Overall another great job by Founders , they continue to amaze me beer after beer

08-11-2013 01:01:37 | More by ubenumber2
Photo of hoptualBrew


4.58/5  rDev +5.8%

Poured into snifter with minimal head. A luminescent semi murky cola brown color. Smell is of dark chocolate malt with bready & woody oak notes. Definitely can tell it was aged in oak bourbon barrels. Smell is almost addicting, I can tell this is going to be heavy sweet. Oak & bourbon both come through nicely in the taste & just as in the smell I am guessing use of chocolate malts? There is a nice bite to the swallow reminiscent of a sip of bourbon, but not too much. Malty sweetness agglutination on the back of my tongue. Seemingly just the right amount of carbonation for the style.

Loved it! I am thinking I need more of this to share with my buddy who frequents his bourbon bottle as a nightcap.

06-08-2011 00:36:23 | More by hoptualBrew
Photo of mdvatab


4.58/5  rDev +5.8%

2011 Release
Poured from 12oz bottle into snifter

Aroma: Bourbon (of course), lots of vanilla, and caramel. The booze and malt notes meld together to also give a light scotch aroma as well. I don't think I could ever get enough of this beer's aroma!

Appearance: Deep amber body with a red hue and decent clarity. 1/2 finger light tan head goes away quickly. Clear legs drip down the inside of the glass after each sip.

Flavor: Soft bourbon, rich caramel, baked pineapple, frosted vanilla cake, and a nice, balanced, bitter punctuation mark at the end.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy mouthfeel, medium-low carbonation, and warming from the alcohol on the back end. Although this one was just released, I wouldn't say it's hot. Well done!

Overall: I love this beer! Very rich and complex, and not nearly as hot as I'd anticipated. Gonna hold onto some of these in my cellar, and highly recommend you give it a try as well.

12-04-2011 13:45:43 | More by mdvatab
Photo of bum732


4.58/5  rDev +5.8%

S: Clean maltiness, bourbon notes, hint of smoke, touch of ak, toffee sweet, some woodiness along with strong vanilla notes.

L: Murky brown, light tan head that dissipates quickly.

T: Caramel sweetness with bourbon backbone. Lots of vanilla and maltiness, but clean. Low earthy bitterness leads to some alcohol and oak dryness. Fairly clean finish with a touch of caramel sweetness.

M: Medium full body, low carbonation, some alcohol warmness.

Loved it, bourbon amount is perfect in this beer. Sweet but well attenuated with enough bitterness and alcohol to counter the sweetness.

02-03-2011 04:44:59 | More by bum732
Photo of GreesyFizeek

New York

4.58/5  rDev +5.8%

On tap at the Old Toad in Rochester, NY, for their Bourbon and Blues night.

Pours a dark brown, clear-ish color. Somewhat hazy. Half inch head, a small amount of visible carbonation. Not much lacing.

Smells like bourbon, some cocoa, and vanilla.

Tastes incredible. So smooth and sultry- Lots of bourbon flavor, without any alcohol burn. Very subtle, smooth, and sweet. Additional flavors of molasses, caramel coconut, vanilla, and cocoa.

Medium-full mouthfeel, low but present carbonation.

A truly exceptional scotch ale/wee heavy. Founder brought the big guns here.

11-09-2013 17:16:12 | More by GreesyFizeek
Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 5,297 ratings.