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Founders Backwoods Bastard | Founders Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class
1,734 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,734
Ratings:
7,703
Avg:
4.25
pDev:
22.59%
 
 
Wants:
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3,051
For Trade:
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Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.60%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
"Wee Heavy", cave aged in oak bourbon barrels.

Added by CortexBomb on 01-30-2007

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,734 | Ratings: 7,703
Photo of Bubba569
4.84/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had it at Founder's Brewery! The perfect place to taste a near perfect brew!!
Look - Had a small whitish head not long lasting at all.
Smell - Oh my...great mouth watering sweet caramel & bourbon aroma.
Tast - Heaven in your mouth...a lot like Sweet Repute but with more of a Oak "Backwoods" aftertaste, caramelly with a lasting bourbon finish!
Mouth feel - Awesome long lasting sweet, smooth Bourbon taste that coats your pallet.
Overall - Outstanding beer that you'll be sad when it's gone! Founder's did it again!

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Photo of EveningCordial
4.84/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle into snifter.

A- dark brown/copper body with noticeable carbonation and a short, white head that dissipates fairly quick. Good amount of lacing present.

S- all notes take a back seat to the bourbon in this offering. Alcohol smell us very present. The delicious bourbon gives way to a sweet molasses scent. Also present are hints of vanilla, oak and other woods, leather, maple syrup, and even a little tobacco.

T- sticking to its nose, this ale is very bourbon forward. The warm bourbon heat hits up front and is followed by some creamy vanilla and molasses. Plenty of oak and wood is present, as is some brown sugar and caramel.

M- medium to full bodied. Very creamy without the heaviness of a stout. Decent amount if carbonation and although the initial swallow has heat from the bourbon, the finish is actually quite crisp, smooth, and perfectly balanced.

O- outstanding job by Founders. I'm a sucker for KBS and stouts but this is a homerun for a scotch ale and is just a step behind KBS in my opinion. I know quite a few people who enjoy this offering better actually. It's smooth bourbon bliss in my book.

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Photo of oldn00b
4.84/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a rusty copper, thin fuzzy head forms and slowly fades. Slight bit of lacing but not much.

Nose is big bourbon forward, vanilla and molasses come through big.

Flavor is fantastic - bourbon, vanilla, and caramel are huge. Slight smoke hint, clove, and pepper hints too. This is a delectable sipper. Surprisingly, "boozy" is one of the last things that comes to mind. Delicate, subtle, sweet but not cloying. Just a fantastic beer.

Feel is near perfect. It's a bit brash, in a good way, but a slightly rough edge does come through.

Overall this is a fantastic beer, one of my favorites for the season hands down.

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Photo of CraftFan5
4.84/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Joint review of Backwoods Bastard and Wulver (only using whole numbers as usual):

A: Poured both aggressively into identical Stone IRS snifters. Backwoods had about a half finger of head, Wulver with about 2 fingers. Both poured a deep ruby red / bronze, with Wulver just a tad darker. Score Backwoods a 4 and Wulver a 5.

N: Backwoods screams bourbon, which is a very good thing. A slight bitterness lies beneath the bourbon and scotch aromas. Wulver was slightly more subdued on the nose with the bourbon less pronounced and no bitterness whatsoever. Score Backwoods a 5 and Wulver a 4.

T: Backwoods is a delight, as usual. Definitely a bit boozy at 10.2% ABV, and I definitely get that hint of bitterness. Should improve as it warms. Bourbon takes a bit of a backseat to the booze and bitterness, as well as the classic scotch ale flavors of caramel and toffee. Now for Wulver after a quick palate cleanser. Wow, these taste very different, considering they're the same style. I don't get nearly the booziness on Wulver despite its 12% ABV. The bourbon and caramel/toffee flavors are blended much better, although I'm not certain that's a good thing, as it's robbed of some complexity. Still extremely tasty. Score both a 5.

M: Backwoods is a bit thin, although I get some coating around the teeth and mouth. This is really where Wulver shines; it's a full-bodied, frothy mouthful of heaven. Score Backwoods a 4 and Wulver a 5.

O: Both incredible, but different beers, and standard-bearers of the BA Scotch Ale style. I've yet to try BA Big Sound, but I'll pull it out of the cellar next year. Very well played by Founders and Thirsty Dog. 5 for each.

Happy Holidays, BA!

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Photo of mfowler314
4.84/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This was the 2015 bottling and it was awesome! I'd not had it before so I can't comment on how it compares to previous years. I had it in the fridge but let it warm up to "cellar temp" before pouring. The look is a nice dark amber or light brown. Nice head that subsided fairly quickly. No lacing though. Smell was butterscotch and bourbon and the later I think I was getting some coconut. Taste was butterscotch and caramel and some bourbon flavoring... very nice. For the ABV I was not tasting the alcohol that much but it is there (if you could see how many time I have to backspace to correct my typing you'd know the alcohol was there!). Not real carbonated - at least by the time I was finishing it - so it feels real smooth. Overall this is an awesome beer and I'm glad I picked up a fair amount of it so I can have one or two every week and still spread it out over a fair amount of time!

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Photo of sjones5045
4.83/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Founders has perfected bourbon barrel aging and with this beer they proved it once again. Now, what is different here is that it's truly unique to have a non stout/dark beer pull off such a smooth tasty flavor with such a high ABV. Once you crack the bottle the smell of malt and bourbon overwhelm and you know you're in for a very different experience. The taste of the base Dirty Bastard is present and it meshes extremely well with the sweet malt and bourbon to create a top notch smooth scotch ale. Overall, it's a must have and one of the best beers Founders has created.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.83/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

5 - Perfect. Dark mahogany color yet crystal clear on the edges, Ruby/blood red notes. Nice big tan head that leaves a good lacing
5 - smooth. Vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, bourbon, chocolate/caramel malts. light scotch notes.
T - Vanilla, cream, caramel, chocolate/caramel malts, bourbon, oak, very light coffee, overall a very smooth and good beer. Umami/wholesomeness.
M - medium to heavy. Alc covered (amazingly at 11.6%). Aftertaste is bourbon/chocolate/vanilla.
O - God damn this beer is near perfect. The taste is amazing. The only thing keeping me from giving it a 5 is I know if I had it next to a KBS or FW Parabola it wouldn't be as perfect as them. Maybe that's my fault for not being as crazy about this style as I am about bba imperial stouts, but give me a break - I bought a case of this today, I'm thinking about searching out another case tomorrow so I have plenty to last me throughout the year. Great beer!

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Photo of Dagger541
4.83/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer was first tried by a friend and I on a chilly Sunday afternoon in-between two music event that we were attending. It was an excellent choice all around. It has and great color and smell and was served in a sniffer glass. It is a sipping beer that will warm you right up. If you think of a scotch ale aged in a bourbon barrel you will have an idea about what this beer tastes like. If you enjoy their Dirty Bastard and you are a fan of whiskey this is a great beer.

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Photo of Katahdin
4.83/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was totally surpriseed by this beer. At 10.2% and a Wee Heavy one would think it would be a big beer. Not all to my surprise. The beer had a great taste, wonderful texture on the mouth and went down smooth. A ver deceaiving beer, it tastes and is as smooth a s a 5% beer, the alcohol can easily sneak up on you.

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Photo of scottyg354
4.83/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Golden brown with minimal head. Some lacing.

S: Bourbon and malt pretty much some this bad boy up.

T: This brew is more like drinking a scotch that is mildly carbonated. I think it is the bourbon and malted barley blending together that give it this character. It really has an abnormal complexity to it. Some smokiness and vanilla with a malty kick. Really quite tasty.

M: Minimal carbonation. For all the boozy characteristic this beer has it goes down unusually easy.

O: Founders once again stands up to its name. Be sure to sip this bad boy.

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Photo of polio
4.82/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this beer is great!
i bought it because the label is awesome.
i drank this beer in a chilled mug. the color of this beer is a dark brown almost red color. very small head. the taste is very creamy. the taste of caramel is very prominent.it goes down smooth and feels great in your mouth.

ps this beer has one of the coolest labels ive ever seen.

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Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
4.82/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a stem glass. Bottled on 10/06/15.

Comes in a very dark reddish brown color; looks almost black in the glass but has ruby tints when held up to the light. A faint stream of carbonation is visible, as are some sediment chunks, and a semi-aggressive pours yields a finger of creamy tan head.
The aroma is very bourbon-forward. A sweet and spicy blend of kerosene, vanilla extract, pecans, and chilies. Behind the massive booze note lies oak, butterscotch, brandy-soaked cherries, figs, and raisins.
In the taste, the malt character is prominent. Butterscotch, toffee, molasses, and a hint of licorice up front, and then cherries, figs, dates, earth, and peat smoke in the middle. Finishes with heavy notes of bourbon, oak, and vanilla--warm, but not hot, and smooths out fairly well with sweetness coating the tongue.
The body is quite full, though not thick or syrupy; it flows smoothly across the palate, creamy like root beer, with only a light tingle of carbonation, and the aftertaste smacks of residual sugars, though it balances out fairly nicely and doesn't seem cloying.

This is a very nice BBA aged beer. Complex and quite drinkable for being 11.6% alcohol. Definitely worth buying. I might even buy a few packs while I have the chance.

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Photo of machostacos
4.82/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First time I've tried the Backwoods Bastard; poured from a chilled bottle into a pint glass.

A: Dark, rich amber with a small tannish-beige head that disappears quickly, leaving a thin layer with a little collar that sticks around. Not much lacing.

S: Rich woody vanilla, some caramel, sweet with a nice kick of smokey bourbon, followed by a wisp of dark cherry. The bourbon is definitely featured, but is not so prominent to overpower the more delicate notes. The alcohol is noticeable, but only just.

T: Very full. Foremost was the oaky vanilla and caramel sweetness of the malts, followed immediately by the bourbon. Definitely wakes up the tastebuds. The sweet smokiness stays with you, lightly penetrated by a citrusy bitterness that I could savor all night. Finishes long and slow, bitter but not too bitter, smokey but not too smokey. Absolutely delightful.

M: So rich, creamy, and thick - I was in heaven. Did not expect that at all.

D: I could easily drink 2 or 3 of these, but with the 10.2% ABV, 1 is certainly enough. Absolutely perfect on a winter evening - warms you right up.

This is my second attempt at a bourbon beer - I'm not much of a whiskey drinker so I was a little skeptical, but boy am I glad I tried the Backwoods Bastard. An absolutely fantastic beer. I'll definitely be buying more of these.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.82/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, red brown with a short tan head that dissipates leaving a little lacing, clear

S: malty, oak, bourbon, bread, prunes, raisins, vanilla, chocolate covered cherries

T: cherries, raisins, bourbon, oak, prunes, vanilla, chocolate, smoky peat

M: full and heavy, lower carbonation, alcohol well hidden

O: Fantastic beer with a wealth of flavor complexity. Perfect for a cold winter evening.

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Photo of Maxwell106
4.82/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

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Photo of jtd1969
4.82/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark Brown, hazy with some redness tint. Good Lacing on the glass.

S - Bourbon on the nose and with some caramel and sweet

T - Bourbon notes through out with caramel and vanilla, toffee, molasses. Delicious.

M - Very smooth. Low carbonation, but perfect for beer. Alcohol was hidden for the most part. It was medium to full bodied.

O - Was so delighted I was able to enjoy this beer. The bourbon was there but did not overpower this beer. I recommend this beer.

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Photo of coldmeat23
4.82/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: 22 oz. Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

This one pours a beautiful, deep, rich, copper/amber color. So deep that it's almost opaque. One-finger head of tan colored foam. Retention is decent. Lacing is spotty, but slightly sticky.

Man, the oak comes through in this one. A huge butteriness is also present. Very nice notes of vanilla and bourbon. Nice presence of caramel malts.
This one smells so good. I almost don't want to drink it, for fear that it won't be able to match this nose.

God, that's good.
Rich caramel maltiness blends with a beautiful bourbon flavor. Hints of very ripe dark fruits. Good level of oak flavor, without being smokey. Rich brown sugar and vanilla notes. All of this is covered in a wonderful butteriness.

This one is definitely in the 'full-bodied' category. It's thick and viscous. Just short of 'chewey'. Minor level of carbonation, which works well. (Although, I think a touch more would provide a wonderful creaminess and this one would be perfect.)

Very drinkable. So well balanced and smooth. It's hard to believe that this has 10.2% ABV. Where is it? All that I get is a nice mellow warmth, in my belly. One of the best 'hidden ABV' brews that I know of.

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Photo of Dhren1979
4.82/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage: 2010

Serving Type: 12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a rich, mahogany color; reddish in color on the edges. Minimal lacing is observed on the sides of the glass.

S: Bourbon! Bourbon! Am I about to drink a bourbon? This is followed by a sweet, surgary...possibly vanilla aroma. Hints of toasted oak is also at play here.

T: Again, bourbon is quite prominent, which is good!! Even has a "kick" that bourbon can have when doing a shot. Love it!

M: This is a very smooth, full bodied brew. No carbonation at all.

D: If I could get this in stores more than once a year I would! Great beer to age! I have 3 left and looking forward to how these develop over time.

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Photo of JizackFH
4.82/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - This beer pours a slightly hazy dark ruby brown color. It has a small 1/2-finger light tan head on it. The head left some lacing on the glass.

S -Smells of bourbon, brown sugar, vanilla, caramel, and booze.

T - The taste is of bourbon with definite vanilla and oak notes. There are good notes of caramel, candied fruits?, and toffee. There is also a kick of bourbon alcohol presence that reminds me of sipping some nice whiskey. This has a very nice deep complex flavor.

M - medium mouthfeel with lower carbonation. This beer is smooth as all hell. It has just a bit of a boozy kick that adds some warmth to it. This goes down very easy.

D - Awesome drinkability. It is sort of a sipper, but I can hardly keep from drinking this quickly. The flavor is great and it is very smooth. I think this is a great beer and will definitely be trying it again. I highly recommend.

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Photo of Doomcifer
4.81/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a deep mahogany color with decent head that fades away quickly. When held to light, you can see a bunch of "floaties" and haze.

Aroma is very complex. Oak, dark fruits, bourbon, a hint of peat moss, cherries, toffee, alcohol, orange zest....and more. I could smell this stuff forever.

Taste is equally complex. Oak, dark overripe fruits, prunes, peat moss, cherries, caramel/toffee, whiskey, tobacco, heather....the list goes on & on.

Mildly heavy beer, nice carbonation, semi dry finish. Slight boozy finish but not as much as would be expected. Surprisingly smooth yet warming.

I could sip on this all night if it wasn't for the ABV. Phenomenal beer.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.81/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of my all time favorites! I sip this one on special occasions, especially when celebrating success at work and wins by my favorite teams! I go to great lengths to purchase as much as I can.

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Photo of drrone
4.81/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle on 3/1/13. Bottle Dated 10/13/11.

A - Gorgeous hazy dark amber/brown color. Very little head and minimal lacing. It had some floating particles in it.

S - Wonderful nose to it. Bourbon, vanilla, and I think caramel/butterscotch. It makes my mouth water. Fantastic.

T - The taste is amazing. It follows the nose very well with an explosion of bourbon, vanilla, caramel/butterscotch, with an oak and malt finish. Nice balanced booziness to it.

M - Smooth, very easy to drink.

O - I love this beer. I only wish I could have found more of it. Founders did a wonderful job.

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Photo of EMV
4.81/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

In bottle poured into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a dark mahogany brown, approaching black. A nice head leaves delicate lacing on the glass.

S: Bourbon. Delicious oaky bourbon plus alcohol, with undertones of malts and light hops.

T: Just a glorious beer, boozy with a wonderful bourbon flavor on top of the malts and caramel of the wee heavy. Mild hop bitterness at the finish keeps it honest.

F: Thick and chewy, moderate carbonation and smooooth.

O: One of my favorites, and great quality as expected from Founders. Serve at cellar temperature for best flavor, and if you like bourbon aged beers this is one of the best. It really works well with the wee-heavy style and the malts are dominant but there's definite complexity once you get past the alcohol. Boozy and delicious. It mellows a little bit with a few extra months of aging but it rarely lasts long enough in my house to get there.

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Photo of drewba
4.81/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - murky, translucent dark brown/burnt sugar which pours with a half finger head which quickly recedes to a khaki ring and thin top coating just around the glass. I want more bubbles!

S - This may be one of the most pronounced vanilla aromas i've ever smelled. I know this doesn't make sense, but the vanilla just smells sweet, smooth, creamy, silky. To adapt a classic George Costanza line, "I would bathe myself in Backwoods Bastard if it was socially acceptable". The background aroma is riddled with delicious molasses, oak and a hint of dark fruit and alcohol.

T - After that aroma, how could this be bad? The taste does not dissapoint, the flavors are deep and delicious. The bourbon imparts lots of brown sugar, sweet vanilla and a slight dryness from the wood. The malts are bringing out a lot of nuance - hearty bread, pecan, caramel, raisin, plum. The hop profile is not lost, but not pronounced. A very mild citrus and bitter character is present and does a great job of balancing all of the sweet flavor qualities going on in backwoods bastard.

M - Creamy, smooth, low but tingly carbonation. Medium - thick body is just right.

D - I've got to say, I love bourbon, but this is like the bourbon barrel aged beer for the person who doesn't love a heavy dose of bourbon. The bourbon sweetness is highlighted, while keeping the alcohol heat at bay (though there is a bourbon aftertaste). Because of this, this was a beer I began sipping, but couldn't stay away for long.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1yr old 2007 brew
(Served in a snifter)
A- Dark brown body with a faint red glow thick creamy yellowish head good strong carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S- Still a big wet oaky barrel with some nice dark dry malty notes. Make you want to sniff for days.

T- Nice full bourbon flavor with big oaky vanilla flavors and some roasted malt flavors. There is a burnt wood malt flavor to the bourbon in the finish. This lingers for a bit after each sip.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a creamy texture as long as the head last. There is a soft smooth alcohol heat that supports the flavors.

D- This beer is great fresh and it is just a good with some age on it although I didn't really notice much change.
---
(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has a deep auburn-brown body that is a bit dense but still clear. There is a creamy light tan head that sticks to the glass and last long after the beer does. It also has a nice slow carbonation of tiny bubbles that support the head.

S- The smell of big vanilla and bourbon has notes of dry toasted malt and apple wood smoke to them. There is a slight sweetness to the smoke and the aromas are big with some nice depth.

T- The taste of big oak and some nice prune flavors and a bourbon/vanilla flavor to it. There is a soft butterscotch flavor followed by a spicy bourbon note and some bitter hops that finish off the beer nicely.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft heat that lingers with the bourbon and hops taste.

D- This beer has a bit more sweetness to the malt which adds more depth to the bourbon and wood. This is a great beer for the winter months ahead. It will pair well with a warm fire, cold winter nights and perhaps a cigar.

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Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,734 ratings.